Developers have different approaches about RESTful API design, but they all agree upon the essential elements of API design. These tools might solve your RESTful API design issues and guide you supportively through the designing process.
What are those different approaches?
- Model approach,
- Open process approach,
- Tool selection approach.
There are some more approaches, but we wanted to stress out the most common and the most useful ones. We will explain all three, with an overview of the API design tool elements.
Open Process Approach
Open one is the most common and it focuses on supporting the API design process, directing the possible constraints to the APIs to handle them.
Model is the specification approach. It got this name as it starts with a specification of a RESTful API. It further supports and follows the adaptation according to the requirements of individual projects.
The goal here is to produce the best RESTful API structures, but sometimes structures for all APIs. The second case occurs when the API should lend itself to a specific function. By using the model approach, you will do the same things, but in different places. This actually has as a result reduction of confusion or errors among the developers. Additionally, this approach facilitates security, too.
Tool selection approach
There are many useful RESTful API designing tools. For example, Swagger’s suite, MuleSoft’s API management tool, or Stoplight’s API design tool.
It is important to go for the most complete API design set of tools which provides validation tools at the same time.
Google, Amazon, or Microsoft own the tools that might facilitate the use of the cloud services models.
If you are thinking in advance, but in the long run, then you should go for API design specifications or model-driven approach. APIs are getting more complex every day, bear that in mind. Maybe you favor the open model approach, but try to use, for example, models and specifications. This will be good preparation for the API design future.
API design element tools
Every approach uses various tools in order to fix the issues during the RESTful API design process. Out of many API design tools (API cataloging, model enforcement, visualization, testing), it might be difficult to figure out which one is the right one for solving the issues.
Testing should be an essential part of an API design process. API visualization is usually a part of testing, as a technique. Management includes API testing at least in a few levels. Many API testing tools require payments, depending on the features the tool provides.
API cataloging is the central element of the process. It actually makes the API definitions available. API cataloging sometimes includes and drive processes of API management. Some companies offer free catalog tools. When picking the catalog tools, make sure they give a catalog that is easily browsed by your computer.
API visualization frames a graphical API review to the users and enables the interaction of the users and the services. Some of the free available visualization tools that are available offer limited capacities. For example, Swagger UI is one of the most popular providers of API visualization tools.
If you want to avoid risks during implementation, then you should go for API code generation. This tool comes in a package with the catalog solution most of the times. The biggest advantage of code generation is that it facilitates the changes made during the process.
It is up to you which RESTful API approach you are about to chose. The open model provides many benefits, but it surely needs a back up from one of the other models. APIs and API design processes are growing big every day, so you would have to keep up the trend with the improvements. Using some of the element tools will ease up the whole process and bring a solution for eventual errors.