api building

Updated 24 April 2020 | Lexy Mayko

The topic under consideration for today is an e-book that is worth being discussed. "Building Successful APIs" is free to download from the official website of SOA Software, Inc., the publisher of the manual.

The book is a remarkable find that guides a developer or an interested in APIs person through the steps of developing APIs. Roberto Medrano, Executive Vice President of the company, notes that “the eBook addresses an information gap in how to build successful APIs. While there are some resources for people developing consumer-facing APIs, enterprises require a different approach and more information to produce APIs. This book gives them much-needed information about building APIs in the enterprise context.”

This piece of web technology writing dwells on the following topics:

  • Creating awareness of the challenges and opportunities inherent in APIs.

  • Determining the business requirements that drive API development.

  • Understanding what the API does.

  • Creating an infrastructure and platform to host APIs.

  • Describing changes needed by IT and business to successfully launch and operate an API.  Supporting a development community for the API.

"Building Successful APIs" gives a detailed insight into APIs development and provides the material structured into 5 chapters, each referring to a new step.

First of all you create an API Platform. As a good house needs a solid foundation, so does a successful API need one. The book explains the capabilities the platform should have:

  • Developer Portal

  • Sandbox

  • API Framework and Server Platform

  • API Security and Management

  • Option for on-premise deployment, or hybrid cloud/on-premise deployment

  • API Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS)

The next step, according to the book, is planning the API. "Building Successful APIs" teaches how to do it well and gives some major goals you should be driving for when planning your API and potential business purposes.  Wonder what costs and benefits of the API are? You will find the information in the manual. And so will you learn how to prioritize your API.

A good API development project requires a list of the roles that would drive it to success. SOA Software names some of them and points out that you can either create new positions within your organization or assign additional responsibility to existing roles.

In the third chapter, you will not just find the answer to the ‘how is an API best designed and built?’ question or a step-by-step guide, but also ascertain the detailed requirements for the API, learn how to separate functional from non-functional ones, iterate through the development process, and utilize an existing SOA investment.

Running the API stage is probably the most controversial one. The point is that a large number of organizations leave such questions as ‘is this really happening?’ or ‘are you actually offering up the ability to..?’ unanswered after the API is built. The chapter helps to get rid of any fears of launching an API and has a treatment in the form of recommendations:

  • Support non-functional requirements in the API Platform, not each API.

  • Implement contracts with API consumers to enforce SLAs.

  • Provide support for API monitoring.

The last but not least step is sharing the API. Having put much effort into the project, you cannot just leave the API rest. And "Building Successful APIs" give a clue to how to ensure profitable engagement with developers by providing some efficient practices for supporting an API once it’s been released:

  • Interact with and recognize your API Developers.

  • Create SDKs to make life easier for your API Developers.

  • Create great documentation about your API and how to use it.

  • Make testing against your API as easy as possible.

  • Monetize your API to assist in future cost benefit analysis.

SOA Software's "Building Successful APIs" is one of the best books giving a detailed look on API technology. It offers both a piece of valuable advice and helpful information.

The review is brought to you by API2Cart team.

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