API Digest #36: API Design and Architecture Edition

Published 18 January 2016 | Updated 31 July 2017 |


The community have been writing about design and architecture a lot, so we could not but gather all the bright pieces into this API Digest. Enjoy the topic and find a couple of articles dedicated to other but no less interesting issues.

Tired of the CRUD nature of REST? Overcome it with Stephan Bauer.

“Little details like tokens can sometimes help structure complex API architectures”, reckons Giovanni Casinelli. Go to Token Design for a Better API Architecture to have a look at different architectures, and ultimately see how a better way to design tokens can lead to a more performant result.

As an API provider, you might have gotten too busy building APIs and forgot what it is like to consume an API. James Higginbotham suggests looking at API design from the client view of the API conversation be the way to see how to make APIs better. Find this and client-server mobile chats in Improving Your API Conversations with Hypermedia, ETags, and Real-Time APIs.

Microservices and their architecture have been an object of interest for a while now. Do not miss the most recent pieces dedicated to the topic: API Gateways to Direct Microservices Architecture by Kristopher Sandoval and Microservices Architecture: What, When, and How by Mrityunjay Kumar.

Dion Hinchcliffe has explained how the history of REST and simple design influenced the ultimate popularity of web APIs over web services and shared his vision for the direction of Web APIs. Read more in his interview for InfoQ.

Hypermedia makes APIs “explorable for clients, more flexible in design, and provides explicit descriptions for relationships between resources”. Find the details in Why Hypermedia Makes Sense by Keith Casey.

Ariya Hidayat believes observing the good and bad examples of the interactions between modules, particularly on the influence of an interface on the code patterns, is what we need to find the principles for designing a good JavaScript API. Watch his presentation titled “JavaScript API Hall of Shame” as either a video or slides for more.

Phil Sturgeon knows exactly how to handle file uploads in APIs. Wondering how? Take a look at HTTP/REST API File Uploads for the three main approaches reviewed.

Haven’t heard that public PaaS is dead? James Higginbotham has 5 reasons for why it is becoming less of a fit for the needs of modern web and mobile applications.