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Art of Building APIs

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My short talk on problems designing and building successful APIs, presented first at API Strategy Conference in New York

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Art of Building APIs

  1. 1. THE ART OF BUILDING APIS Jakub Nesetril founder & CEO of Apiary
  2. 2. ONE SIZE DOES NOT FIT ALL There is no simple way to solve API design. Different groups of developers has different needs, usecases and workflows.
  3. 3. ART, NOT ROUTINE API is and interface. In 2000’s, we thought it was machine- machine interface. But in 2010’s, we know that it’s the interface to the developer behind the machine. Thus, building APIs is a lot like building UIs.
  4. 4. UI design is dominatedby user-centered design.It involves the user intodesign workflow as soonas possible, often usingwireframes.
  5. 5. But API design is stilllargely a waterfallapproach - design-build-document everythingupfront. Only theninvolve the user.
  6. 6. Mock > Use > ImplementUsing a mock serverallows to change theworkflow: produce awireframe quickly, theninvolve the customer.Implement once the apiary.iodesign is finalized.
  7. 7. Mock > Use > ImplementUsing a mock serverallows to change theworkflow: produce awireframe quickly, theninvolve the customer.Implement once the apiary.iodesign is finalized.
  8. 8. API BLUEPRINTHOST: http://api.twitter.com/ Apiary.io has a quick--- Twitter API 3.0 --- tool for describing APIs--- using a very light-weight DSL called APIWelcome to our API. Comments support Markdown syntax Blueprint.----- Retrieve Tweets --GET /tweets> Accept: application/json< 200< Content-Type: application/json{ "items": [ { "url": "/feed", "range":"2ZY48XPZ", "quantity": 1, "name": "Newsocks", "price": 1.25 }] }
  9. 9. Mock > Use > Implement Using this more structured approach gives you more benefits at once. Once you finish designing, your documentation and test suite are in sync.Testing Documentation apiary.io
  10. 10. TESLA MODEL SAmong other APIsthat weredocumented inApiary was TeslaModel S.
  11. 11. apiary.ioE-MAIL jakub@apiary.io TWITTER @apiaryio
  12. 12. PHOTO CREDITShttp://www.flickr.com/photos/ironrodart/4308675209/sizes/o/http://www.flickr.com/photos/30030574@N03/3633431964/

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