Swikly: Launching our API-as-a-service
April 3, 2021
How we created a customized API and the unexpected value for Swikly
Swikly is a new platform providing caution management for all rental businesses (from a few hours to several months), providing :
- Simplification for the caution process for its B2B partners
- Automation and data safety via their platform
- End users benefit from a higher credit card cap
In order to improve their partner experience, Swikly is exposed to credit card default, and we have designed for them an insurance product to protect them against it.
Our "classic" API was ill suited for the connection between Swikly and our platform :
- Our data model was over-specified (we did not need payment splitting, full subscriber/insured/beneficiary model...)
- It was getting tedious to try to map our datapoints to our partner's business reality
- We could not provide good documentation and development tools fast enough
Together with our partner Swikly we pioneered a new approach :
We started with a blank page to design a new API
- no need to support unnecessary usecases
- every datapoint has a meaningful, business-driven signification (good code documents itself)
We used a modern data description language (GraphQL) to provide tooling
While implementing the new solution, we have supported with Swikly a double connection (legacy and new API) to avoid slowing the launch of the product.
We have since improved our solution to bring the same approach to every product launch, extending our compatibility to classic REST APIs and flat files to bring theses improvements to all of our partners.
Delay divided by 3 : 1 week instead of 3
- We didn't need to document custom APIs
- We removed the localization barriers (date formats, language...)
- Our partner was onboard with the process as soon as it's created
We embraced our partner's operational model : some have better access to data snapshots, other to data streams... we can integrate these differences in the created custom data model
Our custom APIs are no longer a one-way data link : they have become a sharing space where we can push information back to our partners, in their desired format.
Unexpected value for Swikly : Beyond specific use to implement insurance solution, this approach enabled them to automate other business processes (non directly related to our business with them) e.g. Accounting process automation.