Considerations for API Creation
As APIs have become increasingly critical to updating outdated business processes, it's essential that those APIs are easy to create and use. APIs are the starting point of any digital transformation, and that starting point should not be a roadblock. Here are six key aspects of API creation that illustrate how developers can simplify the creation and use of these APIs to accelerate their API production.
The first key area to think about is how APIs will connect to databases, legacy services and other critical parts of the enterprise systems. To be able to integrate easily with these core systems helps ensure developers do not worry about integration and connectivity issues. Then developers can focus solely on creating their APIs and services. Developers should look for API creation tools to support connectivity, while providing an automated connectivity layer that takes the pain out of integration with pre-existing core systems.
The next aspect thing is providing developers the flexibility to map out the entire lifecycle of the API. Developers should be able to easily see the code, initial framework as well as the final product to have control over things like the user interface and look of the applications. It is also essential to provide a tool that allows developers to "see" how the final product will look like and it will function. This will ensure that when they send APIs for production, they are providing a completely packaged application, not just a raw set of code that may or may not function properly.
Another aspect is developer workflow. It makes my life easier to know which part of my code goes where and it is important to find a tool that provides a step-by-step workflow that dictates logic. APIs are nothing new, but as a developer you want to understand the workflow. There will always be complexity, new logic, rules, etc."
Developers need to have a standard, integrated workflow in place that is simple, effective and outlines everything from initial production to the ultimate endpoint to avoid unwanted surprises. A tool that provides an easily readable and usable graphic interface that lays out that workflow can help.
The next aspect to consider is the testing aspect. Every time the testing team finds a new issue in a release, it becomes expensive to send it back and fix. So, developers should be able to test their APIs without making the APIs public. It is essential for developers to follow real-time testing as it provides the flexibility to not only find important issues upfront, but avoid the cycle of releases being returned from the testing team and accelerate the API creation process.
When creating APIs it is also important to consider documentation. Although a developer may feel comfortable and familiar with an API, he can never assume that the consumer will be. This needs adherence to standard documentation that can be accessed easily by all consumers to avoid any confusion.
Next factor the development team should have in their mind is their own logging methods and that whatever system they use for monitoring the API should integrate with any logging tools that the developers or their API consumers have in place. This ensures that the API developer can keep track of how the API performs in general as well as how it interacts with and performs in each unique environment it resides in. To achieve this, it is wise to find a tool that provides real-time logging and also allows for seamless integration with other important logging tools.