If you have in mind designing an API, there is a lot in front of you to accomplish. This is an ambitious mission, so make sure that you considerate the whole process in advantage. We want to make sure that you know every crucial step of the way, as it will take you to your goal.
So, you have an API design concept. In this article, we will show you what is the importance of API design and design thinking. A veteran developers’ team stands behind this article, so try to take notes in order to develop a successful API.
Designing an API is far more than just a simple concept
We suppose that you are aware of this fact. Yet, we will disassemble this claim in parts.
We mentioned design thinking in the paragraphs above. Design thinking is a methodology that helps you solve complex problems, or, in other words, uncover solutions. You as a developer should be thinking through a design mindset when developing an API. That means that you have to put an accent on future outcomes before than focusing on problems (even though you should keep an eye on this aspect during the process).
Design thinking could help you as a developer, as it will inform you about the front end and about user-facing features. Basically, you can apply anything to designing your API, going from products to architecture.
Inside out approach
It might be confusing for you to figure out where to start. That is why you should gain some insights from your colleagues – developers. Some of the rules of this approach are:
Security is always a good base. Start from simple authentications based on tokens. Make sure you ponder different security options, as the right one will help you shape the future of your API development.
You want an API that is designed simply and easily for the sign-up. It would be great if you provide language libraries where developers can find some of the relevant information, separated by category. There is no need for reinvention JSON, SOAP, or REST in order to achieve your goals.
Provide easily digestible, straightforward, simple, but detailed documentation. If you want to make a useful API, this is the inevitable step. Did you know that good documentation get numerous social shares?
You will come to a point where you should enable microservices functioning within your application. By this, we mean that you must provide interaction of the components.
We will accentuate two design characteristics here – message-oriented and hypermedia-driven.
Some developers use object-oriented approaches, but these are becoming less popular every day. However, the message-oriented approach makes it easier to refactor, later on, so try to focus on this side.
Unfortunately, hypermedia APIs don’t have as much tooling and support as they should have. Yet, if you look a bit deeper, you might find some great API design solutions for microservices.
Now that we finally came to the design process, you have to choose between strategies. The goal is to get information for each endpoint.
We suggest the easier way – to append a new customer resource. Even though REST developers lead a debate on resource association, there is no magic formula when we talk about this subject. Yet, if you know why are you choosing the exact approach over and over again, and you see the advantages of it, it will bring you to your goal.
You should use API design toolkit here, also, as it will resolve inevitable confusions during the process.