3 Best Practices You Need to Keep in Mind When Designing an API

Setting up a website for your business is a great way to make your brand visible. After all, everyone has access to the internet, so good search visibility can help boost your sales and client base. However, creating a good website isn’t enough to attract more business. You also have to consider integrating other systems and components into your website to increase efficiency and compatibility. This is where API comes into play.

Application Programming Interface

API stands for Application Programming Interface. It’s a system that’s designed to allow two applications to communicate with each other. An example of an API in action is when you’re trying to login to your social media accounts. After you’ve filled out your username and password and hit send, the API will deliver that information to the website’s servers. The servers then receive the data, interpret it, and perform the necessary actions before sending its response back to you via the API. 

Since APIs provides smooth data transmission between systems, it’s important to use an API design, planning & modeling tool that works with your business. Nevertheless, developing a system can be tough, especially when you’re making one for the first time. Fortunately, you can simplify the process if you keep these three API design practices in mind:  

Keep Things Clean and Simple

You need to design an API that can be understood by your web developers. This way, the developers will instantly know how your API functions with just one look. Straightforward API designs are also easier to implement and harder to misuse. As a result, you’ll have no problem optimizing the flow of data, especially when you decide to modify certain areas of your API.

Documentation Is Key

API documentation helps reduce the learning curve to people who are visiting your API for the first time. This is because it contains instructions on how to use and integrate your API, as well as details about its functions, classes, return types, arguments, and other information. Providing enough documentation will also help decrease the amount of support effort you need to provide. When people have access to effective API documentation, they can solve any problem they encounter quickly and integrate your design with ease.

Get to Know Your HTTP Request Methods

Request methods are made to indicate the type of action to be performed for a given resource. Though they can be nouns, they’re often called HTTP verbs. These methods are case-sensitive and must always be in the uppercase. Several HTTP request methods can be found in an API, but the four main requests include the following:

  • GET: The act of retrieving data.
  • POST: The act of submitting an entity to the specified source. 
  • PUT: The act of updating the existing resource, replacing all current representations of the target resource as a result.
  • DELETE: The act of deleting the specified source.

Although API design makes up one portion of your website, it’s a component you should invest your time and money on. With a streamlined and practical design, your consumers and partners will have an easier time using your website.   

3 Best Practices You Need to Keep in Mind When Designing an API 1
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