A developer portal is the place where developers learn about your API and register to use it. Developers interact with your API portal in a number of ways. They can read your API documentation, participate in blogs about your API, and most importantly, register to use your API.
The basic flow developers follow to gain access to your APIs from your portal goes like this:
- Developers visit your API portal and register themselves with it.
- Registered developers can then choose which API products they wish to consume and create an "app" in the portal.
- The app generates a key pair that the developer can use to access your API products from within their own apps.
As the API provider, you set up and configure your API portal. At that time, you can specify the level of developer authorization that you want. For example, you can allow all developers to register and receive keys. This option is the default. Or, you restrict developer access by adding specific developers and giving them specific access rights.
The key concepts to understand when you are setting up your portal are:
- API products. An API product is a bundle of APIs that are "packaged" for consumption by developers. You must create one or more API products in the Apigee Edge management UI or by using the Platform API. In your API portal, registered developers can then select which products they wish to use. For more information, see What is an API product?.
- Developers. Without developers, there's no point in having an API! Generally, and by default, visitors to your portal self-register and thereby add themselves to your API platform. Once a developer is registered, she can access your API by selecting one or more products. You can track and manage the APIs that the developer accesses.
- Apps. An app registers one or more API products with a registered developer. The app generates a key pair that allows the developer to access your APIs through the Apigee platform.
Before developers can start working with your portal, they need to be added to the system. By default, any developer can register on the developer portal. The developer's account is then automatically authenticated.
However, you can customize your developer portal such that only those with admin privilege can add developer accounts. In that case, a portal administrator needs to add developer accounts manually using the portal UI. See Add and manage user accounts for more.
You can use the Apigee Edge management UI to add developer accounts manually. You can chose this approach for your internal test environment or, if you choose not to create a portal, you can generate API keys and make them available to specific developers. For more information, see Adding developers to your API product and Creating apps to surface your API.
As with most Apigee features, you can use the API Services management API to perform the same kinds of functions you perform in the management UI. API provisioning and management is no exception. For more information, see Using the API Services management API.