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Before you begin

Overview

Products are the heart of Project X. They aggregate all aspects of your customers' future subscriptions. Think of them as subscription plans.

There are several important questions to answer before configuring your products with Project X.

What do I include in the product?

A product on Project X can be comprised of:

  • A single API.

    Users subscribe and use API keys issued by Project X to access it.

  • Several APIs/API bundle.

    In this case the user will be able to use the same API key for all APIs in the subscription.

  • A subset of endpoints of an API.

    The user will be able to access only the endpoints included in the product. This is useful for the case, when you are going to split endpoints into basic and premium.

    Example

    For a currency exchange rate API, you might want to grant access to historical data on a premium plan only.

    In order to achieve that, you don't include the endpoint returning historical data in the basic product, but include it in the premium product.

  • Any combination of endpoints from any number of APIs.

    This allows for maximum flexibility when configuring your products.

What do I charge for?

Modern best practices in API productization advise, instead of charging for a synthetic "number of API calls" metric, to charge for the actual value the customer gets from your API (why?).

Here are some examples of product metrics:

  • Number of images compressed by your API
  • Number of characters translated by your AI translator
  • Number of minutes of audio generated by your Text-To-Speech engine
  • Number of e-mails/SMS sent via your API

Using product-relevant names for metrics lets your customers easily understand the offer and choose the right product to subscribe to.

Any product metric can be configured and used to bill your customers with Project X.

How do I charge for my products?

Do I apply usage-based pricing model? Do I charge a flat fee? How often do I charge? Should there be a free tier?

What limitations can I impose?

There is a huge variety of limitations that can be imposed on API products.

By carefully thinking those through, you offer your customers fair terms that satisfy their needs and are equally profitable to your and them.

Limits on product metrics

Project X allows to impose limits on product metrics (see What do I charge for?) and periodically reset quotas after a configured period of time.

Here are some examples of quotas that can be introduced in your products:

Example

API Quota
Generating audio from text 100 of minutes of generated audio per month
Image compression 100 compressed images, 1GB of processed data per month
AI-powered translation 1 000 000 translated characters per week
E-mail, SMS API 1 000 sent e-mails/SMS per month

Project X is capable of calculating the metric value for each request/response, automatically.

This value is then recorded, and Project X Billing Engine processes usage data, billing the customer for the total usage.

Once the limit is exceeded, Project X API Gateway will reject requests until the next quota reset.

Limits on input parameters

Sometimes it might be useful to limit the range of input parameters in basic products, while allowing the full range of values in premium products.

Example

API Parameter Basic product Premium product
Weather API Historical data availability max. 10 days no limit
Mortgage calculator Available repayment intervals Month Week, 2 weeks, month, year
Image recognition Available input formats JPEG JPEG, PNG, TIFF, RAW

Project X allows you to flexibly configure the limits on input parameters, regardless of how they're passed to your API: in query strings, in JSON body or in HTTP headers.

Project X API Gateway will reject requests if input parameters are out of the allowed range.

Pricing page

Summarize answers to the questions above into a single table and get your ready-made pricing page.

Without usage-based pricing, flat fee:

Weather API — Basic Weather API — Advanced Weather API — Premium
100 forecasts per month 10 000 forecasts per month 1 000 000 forecasts
No historical data 10 days of historical data Full historical data
No government weather alerts Government weather alerts Government weather alerts
$5 / month $25 / month $250 / month

With usage-based pricing (pay-per-use):

Weather API — Basic Weather API — Advanced Weather API — Premium
$0.1 per forecast $0.1 per forecast $0.1 per forecast
No historical data 10 days of historical data Full historical data
No government weather alerts Government weather alerts Government weather alerts
$5 / month $25 / month $250 / month

In the next chapters you'll learn how to configure products like that with Project X.