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Why Learn API Design?

One of the questions we always get asked by people from the software industry is why learn API design? Well for starters there are a number of reasons because there is a myriad of reasons why someone would want to create an API. If anything, creating an API can be the foundation of a major development project which helps tests the waters. 

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API creation is also a great way to increase the adoption of a certain set of resources. Though the core reason why anyone would want to create an API is to help take their idea to the mass market where it can be tested and implemented by software developers. 


What API Type Should You Choose?

Now before you can learn how to design an API, it is important to know what type of API you want to design. You need to figure out why one type is a better option over the other for you. It goes without saying that the REST architecture is the most common while SOAP has long been dated. Though each type has its own set of pros and cons. 


Planning for the API

The planning happens to be an essential phase in the API design lifecycle. Never rush through the research and development process. Planning takes time, but good planning guarantees success. You should have a list of all the actions that need to be taken. You should know how the API is going to interact with all the existing services as well as how to maintain it. Versioning and documentation should also be factored into the planning phase. 

Prototyping the API


Prototyping is an essential part of API design that many developers overlook. Prototyping gives you some idea as to what kind of specs your system should have to ensure optimal performance. Plus, it will give you some insight into glitches and design flaws which can be fixed before publishing the final version. Sure! It adds a few more weeks to the development cycle but its worth it. 


Incorporate the Use of RAML

Many API developers use RAML because it helps them to build Spec Driven APIs. It also helps to keep you on track for best practices when designing an API in addition to reusing code which takes advantage of the required design patterns. All of which constitutes API consistency. 

Your API should also have a way to get feedback from software developers. Feedback will mean that you are always in a position to meet their growing needs. 


Authentication is Important

When you are building SaaS-based APIs authentication is an essential part of allowing users to get into an account via the API. Since each individual will have their own account, the security of each account is the responsibility of the API. 


Using Resources

Clients will generally interact with an API via their required resources, and so they have to adhere to the required best practices when designing the API. Now, this isn’t only important for the API’s usability but also longevity. 


Rapid deployment

APIs are generally meant to be consumed quickly so they shouldn’t only provide you with good operational information but also help to debut the connections which return good error information. The more sense that info makes the easier the API will be to use. 

Hypermedia is another thing you need to be familiar with or have perfect knowledge to ensure usability. Once you build the API managing and updating it will require time and effort which is something you shouldn’t overlook so factor that into the process too.

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