Good API design is one of the most important things that organizations and developers working on APIs try as much as possible to perfect. APIs (Applications Programming Interfaces) have transformed the business world and changed how it operates.
Today, organizations are able to come up with different sets of solutions whose sole purpose is to streamline operations and address the demands of both the organizations and their customers.
For instance, if you decide to invest in the stock market today, you are able to look into different stocks and markets from the comfort of your home. Using your hand-held device, you can compare different stocks, choose the ones you need and make payments all within a click of a few buttons. This has been made possible by stock APIs.
Organizations have adopted APIs and allowed external applications to access their data and information to ensure that their business processes are simplified. However, it does not always work the way every organization wants it to. This is because when designing and building APIs, some organizations fail to follow some of the best practices required for an efficient API design. Read more about low code development platform.
Best Practises to Follow When Designing APIs
There are different API design practices found on the internet, but if you are looking for the best set of design practices, here they are;
When designing APIs, developers need to understand that their APIs will be considered to be good if the API’s documentation is good as well. They should make sure that the documentation is easily accessible and anyone who wants to implement the API can find it effortlessly.
When a developer wants to integrate an API with their applications, the first thing that they do is checking whether the API’s documentation is available and how detailed it is. In essence, they need to find out how easy it is to use the API. It is a good API design practice to make sure that developers can find and use your API documentation with ease.
Developers building and designing APIs need to be very careful with the security measures that they implement. This is because anyone can access the APIs from anywhere in the world as long as they have an internet connection. Sometimes, API consumers access these APIs from places like coffee shops whose internet connection is not secure.
In addition, they need to make sure that all communication within and without the API is encrypted. This is important when avoiding impersonation and loss of data when there is unauthorized access.
It is, therefore, a good practice for developers when designing APIs to make sure that they have used SSL and other encryption methods to keep their APIs secure.
Designing and implementing an API does not mean that that API will always meet all the requirements of its users. Technology advancement has made sure that customers are getting used to efficient solutions and continuously demanding innovations that meet their demands.
Due to this, developers might have built an API that initially functioned well and met all its requirements, but needs a lot of modifications to address new customer demands. In such situations, it is a good API design practice to adopt API versioning to make sure that consumers implementing any version of the API are not affected by any changes on the API.
An API will perform all its functions well without any issues if these design practices are followed. However, not all developers understand how important these practices are. If an API fails, it is bound to affect many business processes, might lead to loss of data, and to business closure in severe cases. It is, therefore, important to adopt these practices when implementing APIs.