What a developer portal does for your API ecosystem

You’ve created a bunch of secure, super-useful APIs and software development kits (SDKs), which are ready and waiting for developers to delight in integrating them into their projects. Great. But developers will only use them if they can find them and enjoy the experience. 

That means you need to make your APIs and SDKs easily accessible, with well-structured documentation to facilitate developer efficiency. Users shouldn’t have to sift through endless documentation to find relevant information. 

Documentation efficiency also relies on an environment that encourages knowledge-sharing and collaboration. This is why you need a developer portal. It provides a visible community supporting developer efficiency and product adoption, plus plenty of insights to help you drive innovation and growth. Read on to discover the rewards of having a developer portal and how you can reap them… 


A developer portal is more than just docs

Let’s clear this up nice and early. Proper documentation is crucial, as is the ability to navigate it efficiently. Documentation alone won’t cut it. 

Developers are busy people, to say the least. Most of us working with APIs are familiar with the concept of cognitive overload. A developer portal can help; it can cut through the time-wasting and provide much-needed relief for your developer team. 

What is a developer portal?

A developer portal is a centralised repository that contains all the information about the tools, APIs and SDKs used to build your software. It helps developers and managers keep track of any changes to the development stack and monitor things like:

  • Microservices used
  • Connections made via APIs
  • The ownership status of microservices
  • Resource use
  • Dependencies 

A developer portal helps you showcase how developers can make the most of your APIs. It makes their lives easier and encourages them to use your APIs and SDKs optimally. It supports a better user experience (UX); the more they know, the better their UX. All of these factors contribute to successful product adoption and happy developers. 

Developer portals also feature sandboxes for trying out tools. They may also provide a forum where developers can discuss ideas, share knowledge and track changes within the ecosystem. 

Ultimately, a developer portal encourages collaboration within teams and organisations. Product owners, salespeople, technical writers, and developers can use the portal to gather and share in-depth information about a product, enhancing its ease of use, UX, and adoption rate. 

Why have a developer portal?

There are plenty of good reasons why API providers should have a developer portal, from an improved developer experience (DX) to greater collaboration opportunities. 

Developer portals provide a set location for resources like API documentation and code samples. This improves the DX and reduces the time spent searching for information. Great. It also enhances API discovery and makes it easier for developers to understand your organisation’s APIs, leading to broader adoption and use. 

A developer portal is also valuable for gathering analytics and insights about API use. This helps you make informed decisions about future development and investment in your APIs, enabling the portal to underpin business evolution and growth. 

Developer portals also benefit the community, as they provide a platform for developers to connect and collaborate. This communication helps organisations build strong relationships with their developer community. Developer portals provide a unified resource where developers can ask questions, report issues, and provide feedback. As a result, your organisation can more easily respond to and resolve issues. Another tick for a smooth DX.  

The risks of not having a developer portal

Not having a developer portal could be a hindrance for your organisation. It can lead to poor communication and collaboration between the development team and other departments. Without a central platform for sharing information and updates on development projects, it can be challenging for other teams to understand the progress and requirements of these projects. This can lead to misunderstandings, delays and mistakes.

Additionally, the lack of a developer portal can hinder innovation and limit the ability of the development team to experiment with new ideas and technologies. A lack of access to tools, resources and best practices can prevent developers from exploring new possibilities and discovering better solutions to problems. Without an internal developer portal in place, it is harder to foster collaboration, efficiency and innovation within your development team.

What does a developer portal do?

Let’s look at some of the functionalities of a developer portal.


Many companies work on multiple projects or applications simultaneously, with a different team assigned to each. Tracking every project can be challenging since you must maintain their dependencies and regularly update the related APIs. A developer portal places all the relevant information about these applications in a single location, making them easy to organise and manage.


The dashboard of a developer portal can provide valuable analytics. Functions and graphs help you visualise and analyse API traffic to gather insights into each API’s use. With this data, you can effectively identify and debug errors and find ways to improve or upgrade your applications. 

A developer portal can also inform your organisation about other issues the developer community is experiencing. This can help you make informed decisions about future undertakings and investments.

Productise and monetise

Quickly making a consumable product and monetising it are not trivial tasks. By providing a comprehensive and well-designed developer portal, your company can streamline the productisation process and make it easier to create new products and solutions built on your technology. 

Developer portals also offer features to help monetise your product. These features include processing credit card payments, connecting to a payment account and defining API subscription plans.

Enable self-service

Developer portals help developers help themselves. The self-service experience grants developers secure access, which enables them to register their applications, select the APIs and the service levels they need and monitor their applications. 

Managing all the companies and developers that use your APIs requires overseeing all customer profiles, including bank, tax, and billing details—as well as their roles. To ease this time burden, developer portals allow developers to handle all those management tasks independently while still affording complete visibility into the API ecosystem.

Foster growth

With everything in one place, your company can continue to develop self-service items in a scalable way. Having an established location for your resources eliminates the need to distribute update notices because developers already know where to find the newest information. 

A developer portal further enables growth by providing a platform where your organisation can showcase and promote its APIs and resources to a broader audience.  By making these resources accessible and easier to discover, your organisation encourages increased innovation and collaboration, extending its market reach.

Facilitate interaction

With a developer portal, you have the power to build a community around your products. Developers can support each other and give guidance, causing an increase in user engagement. All while you glean insights into what’s on the community’s mind and where there might be gaps in the market for problem-solving solutions. After all, when communicating with developers is easy, you can collect better feedback and provide improved support. 

The ability to share insights, announcements and updates also helps build strong relationships with your developer community and drive growth and innovation based on your products.

Grant visibility

A developer portal grants visibility into your organisation’s APIs and resources. By collecting and organising information like API documentation, code samples and troubleshooting resources, a developer portal makes it easier for external developers to discover and use your products and services.


Reaping the benefits of a developer portal

Developer portals are essential tools for creating a smoother developer experience. They are indispensable for the broader developer community that you want to engage with your products. 

A portal also empowers your internal developers to troubleshoot more efficiently. They can access documentation and API features and allocate resources all in one place. Maintaining a unified location for your resources also enables you to enhance your self-service offerings. 

Communication between internal and external developers also becomes effortless. Developer portals create greater visibility into your product offerings and support successful adoption by providing one medium for offering support, improving collaboration and garnering valuable feedback.

A high-quality developer portal also helps turn APIs into marketable products and finds ways to monetise them — tasks that Tyk takes very seriously. To learn more about creating a successful developer portal and how it might benefit your business, try out Tyk Cloud today.

You can also take a deep dive into the features and functionality of the Tyk Developer Portal by diving into our docs