APIs

APIs need style, because they’re worth it

The world of cloud-native systems depends upon many protocols, standards and structures… many of which are interconnected via Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) - how should we ‘style’ the development of APIs to ensure they perform well once they hit the catwalk of life inside live software systems?

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The world of cloud-native systems depends upon many constructs, protocols, standards, structures and software languages, but if there is one entity within this complete universe that now enjoys more prevalence than most, it is the API.

The use of Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) has mushroomed with the rise of the modern web and cloud over the last quarter-century. Often described in layperson’s terms as the glue that bonds different applications together inside the firmament of cloud, APIs also connect lower-level application components together and form a bond to higher levels Operating System (OS) structures, when that communications conduit is needed.

Written to a defined and required syntax, APIs have a prescribed style that they must adhere to. We have already discussed what makes a good API on IDG Connect here, but over and above building APIs with solid ‘call rate’ limiting controls, should we also be thinking about the stylistic approach behind how we create these technologies.

What style means to an API

If we were to ask a dozen different developers to define how a good, cool and perhaps nicely styled API should function, we might get two dozen different answers. But despite these differing opinions, organisations need consistency in their API design style in order to be able to work with the differing needs of future designers as a company might expand or scale.

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