All you need to know about API development and the industry-best API development tools

Technology , Posted by on 2020/10/16 0     Comments
a-complete-guide-to-api-development

API is everywhere! The API is amazing! API is all about letting the applications communicate. You know that communication is key whether it is about humans or software. API stands for application programming software. It is basically a software intermediary and it helps two soft applications to communicate with each other. Sometimes this term seems awkward to non-technical persons and they think that this technology is different and maybe they are not using this one. But the truth is that we are using API on a regular basis. For example, we can say that when we use Facebook and use messenger to text a Facebook friend, we are actually using API unknowingly. Today this term is not that popular but its importance is countless. It can ensure stunning business benefits. Now API development is one of the core things that a business should enable in 2020 to get competitive advantages. 

Experts say that an API is the main base of all applications out there that mainly deal with data or lets two products or services communicate with each other. It is all about empowering a mobile app so that it can easily share its data with other apps and platforms with full-on security. This process adds ease to user experience. And the best fact is that after a proper API development there is no need to engage developers on a frequent basis. Apart from this, we can also say that API just soothes the pain of building another similar app or platform, you can use the existing one finely. There are many more benefits that API development can offer you. But to successfully develop API, we have to go through some steps and there are a lot of other important facts we should consider. And Vyrazu Labs has brought everything here in this blog after a solid research. So, let’s continue to get more useful details-

How does it will work after API development? 

When it comes to how to develop API, expert professionals say that there are some rules we need to know first that specify how API will let applications, platforms, and even machines communicate with each other. Here API is like a middleman between two applications or platforms or machines. We can understand better how an API works through a real-time example. 

When we download an app or access a site from the browser, it wants us to allow it to access some information from our device. You can remember that when you have downloaded the Facebook app and after installing, you entered some details to sign in. At that time, the mobile application makes a call to the API to properly retrieve your FB account as well as credentials. After that, the app will be able to access information from one of its servers and instantly return the data to the application or device. 

API development is nothing new. It has been there for such a long time but we did not make it popular according to its abilities. Today’s most businesses have been using this technology to successfully get more information and serve the customers faster than competitors. Earlier there was only the practice of web API but today we have lots of options in our hands. 

When it comes to communication, we can say that now API uses two ways such as REST and SOAP to properly communicate with the endpoints. But experts say that SOAP API is heavy and more platform-dependent and that’s why now businesses prefer to use REST over SOAP.

Benefits of API development in 2020

  1. Efficiency- if there is proper API support, developers can do more in less time, and meeting their objectives on time will not be hard. Generally, API does not come with any implementation but it directs to assemble software components to develop a program successfully. Here a developer does not need to reinvent the wheel, an API will do that to support the entire work. 
  2. Better connection- you may have a dream that you want an e-commerce site like Amazon but for that no more you need to learn all the technical stuff about Amazon. All you need to learn is how to work with API. here you can easily communicate with any API. Generally, each endpoint of API comes with a specific format for both request and response purposes. API also lets you integrate your business website with a big e-commerce platform so that you can reach more and more audiences. 
  3. More innovation- earlier developers with the proper understanding of the data exchange model were able to make use of API. Those developers were provided with rigid interfaces to assemble software components. But today API development has enabled rapid innovation in the genre and every developer out there can take the help of this API. Today’s external developers are also allowed to work with standardized interfaces. 
  4. Integration and customization- knowing the potential users is a very important thing in today’s business. And that’s why today’s businesses are taking the help of API to integrate with a third-party application or platform to get a more profound insight about the users. How users communicate or interact with the application and how to improve user experience- all these you can easily know with the help of API. It just stops the users to choose an alternative to your business. 
  5. Fast issue solving- in 2020, in order to properly maintain a business, we need to go through several processes along with technical processes. With the help of API development, businesses can boost the power of connectivity to fast eliminate the issues that take place during the use of multiple services for various tasks. Instead of maintaining multiple channels to run marketing now a business can use an omnichannel communication platform to accelerate the business without issues and errors.

When API development can ensure these many benefits to a business in 2020, we should know now how to develop an API. The development process starts with knowing the basic terminologies of API. so, let’s have a quick look at the terminologies of API-

Basic terminologies of API development

  1. REST- Representational State Transfer is a type of programming architecture implementation. It is here to boost the communication power between two applications or platforms. Without any doubt it is light-weight. The main idea behind making it is keeping specific data available to respond to the reference request. In this process, only that particular data will be shared instead of the entire data set.  Systems made on this programming architect are known as RESTful systems. WWW- world wide web is an example of the RESTful system. 
  2. HTTP Methods- HTTP methods are here to tell an API  what the user is trying to do with the data. Generally, there are four different types of HTTP methods such as GET, POST, PATCH, and DELETE. GET is all about getting information that already exists on the platform. POST is about creating something new. PATCH is all about modifying information that already exists on the platform. And DELETE is all about removing an existing data from the platform. 
  3. Request and Response– Request and response are pretty much similar as they sound. These are actually different HTTP methods that we have listed above. In order to do a task the action, the user takes calls an API and that is called a request. What an API brings back is known as a response. 
  4. Headers- generally headers are here to pass extra information with that request and response HTTP methods. Here one needs to put two headers. One header is to specify the type of content and the next one with the API key will elaborate the text. 
  5. API keys- in order to get a response through a request from the API, we will need an API key. Generally, developers need to have an API key linked to their account. In the case of missing API key, the response from the API will be an HTTP 403 error. In other words, we can say also that through the API key, API tries to understand the requester. The authorized code we get from the request is known as an API key. 
  6. JSON- JSON stands for JavaScript Object Notion. It is more like a language that two applications or platforms use to communicate with earth others through the API. generally, the API does not come with a user interface and that’s why the user needs to understand the request and response between two platforms and applications. Experts say that both humans and machines can read this language. With the help of JSON, we can see the data flow between two applications or platforms. 
  7. SOAP- SOAP stands for Simple Object Access Protocol. Actually, SOAP is a messaging protocol that allows sharing structured information for the execution of web services in computer networks. SOAP works with XML information set as well as HTTP and SMTP like application layer protocols in order to ensure perfect message format, message transmission, and message negotiation. 
  8. Latency- from getting the request to respond to that request, an API’s required time is known as latency. 
  9. Rate-Limiting- API rate-limiting means the process of specifying the rate at a user from an end can access the API properly. In other words, we can say that rate-limiting is about the limit of request that a user can make to an API at a time. 
  10. API throttling- in a particular time period, users follow the process of regulating the use of an API is known as API throttling. This can be also used for API limiting. 
  11. OAuth- OAuth is an Open Standard authorization framework that pays access without directly sharing credentials from the user’s end.

Now it comes to the main intention of this blog and that is how to develop an API like a professional. Well, it is also a true fact that API development requires some expertise and deeper knowledge to successfully develop an API. Generally, businesses hire developers or ask a software developing company for API development. According to the business need and budget, one can pick the best. But no matter it’s your in-house developer team or an outsourcing company, they will use some common ways as well as tools. Here we are going to discuss those mandatory tools for successful API development-

The tools for successful API development

Linx

It is popular as well as powerful low-code development software. Developers use Linx in order to develop backend applications quickly. With the help of this software, you do not need to hire an entire team of engineers to build software applications at a fast pace. It is not only a speedy option but also a versatile option out there. According to expert professionals, it can create robust and helpful web services and host APIs. here one does not need to write code for each repetitive piece as Linx comes with the entire arrangements. It is rich in pre-build functionality. This functionality helps developers to build, implement, and consume API for internally built applications. Here you will get features to assemble and publish both REST and SOAP service endpoints without making your hands dirty in any specialized coding. With the help of Linx, one can easily drag and drop an effective module into the canvas, set up some configuration, and save a lot of time. 

 Pros- here you can easily connect an existing application through SOAP or REST or you can develop a completely new one

Cons- Experts say that it is not a fully API management software. And that’s why it cannot assist a developer in the entire API development program. For the testing purpose, there is a need for a third-party tester. 

 Swagger Editor

Experts say that with the help of Swagger Editor, they can easily design and document APIs. here API development and documentation get done based on a free and web-based open-source editor. When it comes to how to develop API easily, you should check every tool out there. There are some free tools also to create amazing APIs. Some tools come with a premium version. When you go for a premium version, you need to check that it offers a free trial or money-back guarantee. If both are missing you should avoid that option. Swagger Editor has been created only to successfully create pen-API baked APIs. With the help of this API development tool, you can work on both web-based platforms or in a local platform or environment. 

It is a well-documented tool. It helps effectively to easily create shareable documentation. It will also improve the user experience for them who are trying to use your application. 

 Pros- Swagger Editor offers instant visualization of the documentation and it also has some customization options. It also comes with auto-completion tools to successfully create server stubs. 

Cons- Swagger Editor does not support hypermedia. 

 Fiddler

Experts say that it is a great free web debugging proxy tool that we can use to check the security of the APIs. It comes with a set of useful features. Fiddler comes with an easy log in policy like here you can log any and all HTTPs traffic between the internet and your device. After that Fiddler will assist in traffic decrypting to search if there is any security issue in your application or not. 

After the initial API development, you can drag and drop any active session on the menu and run a set of validation against that selected section. You can do it in both ways like either using regex or in plain text. 

Experts also say that it is a stunning option when it comes to how to develop API and debugging it. If there is any sensitive issue like something security-related, Fiddler will come with excellent features to properly monitor all HTTPs traffic. Here you can easily perform penetration testing or detect interference attempts. 

 Postman

 It is a comparatively complex API development and testing tool. Professionals mainly use this software to successfully build simple to complex APIs. This software also helps to properly verify the API’s functionality before finalizing the application. Here one can manually build simple API calls by using a direct and user-friendly interface. The main attractive part of this API development tool is that it helps to check if payloads are properly sent or received before other development work. 

Pros- Postman offers full integration along with existing SDLC methods. And that’s why it is a perfect option for all the professional development processes. 

Cons- it lacks speed on some computer as it is a little memory-intensive option out there.

SwaggerUI

When it comes to how to develop an API, it is one of the most trust-worthy tools out there. In order to get error-free results, it is an effective solution for programmers. It is a well-known open-source API development tool and mainly uses OpenAPI resources. This option helps the users to view the API at a superior level through the web interface. Within the API, users will get basic documentation of the resources. In this process, developers will be able to execute requests and properly monitor the, in this way, they can get sure that payloads are properly sent or not as well as the results. Experts say that when it comes to how to develop an API in an error-free way, they prefer to rely on this tool. It is very useful for both developers and testers. Not only developers and testers but also end-users can use this tool to evaluate the API development of an application. 

Pros- The main plus point of this API development tool is that it has an easy interface. Here the user does not need to apply any adding knowledge except understanding what is API. It has a web interface so that you can understand that it is lightweight also. Experts say that when it comes to how to develop an API, we should always go for an option that is easy to use and lightweight. 

Cons- here you will get no dependencies. It is an extremely flexible option. But it does not support hypermedia. Comparatively, it is a better option when it comes to how to develop an API fast and in an error-free way. 

SOAPUI

SOAPUI is known as a complete API automation testing framework. Fortunately, it can work for both SOAP and REST methodologies. It comes with some stunning features such as API functional testing, security, performance testing, API mocking, and reporting tools for successfully view the metrics of large-scale API testing processes. It has both free open-source as well as a premium version. It is one of the best tools when we ask experts about how to develop an API and the best tools for it. Developers who need to build APIs on a regular basis mainly use this tool. Not only to build APIs but also to manage a wide set of connections, experts recommend using SOAPUI. 

Pros- SOAPUI comes with a vast range of fully functional testing features along with stunning security features. Security features range from SQL to XSS and more. It provides alerts for any potential problem that is going to take place in the near future. 

Cons- when it comes to how to develop API, you will definitely have some unique needs. But SOAPUI is an open-source tool. And that’s why sometimes developers need to customize any source code to satisfy their unique needs. It is also an advanced tool and that’s why some users find it a little bit complicated to use.

These are very useful tools to properly develop API in an error-free way. But when it comes to how to develop API successfully at a go, considering features is also important. An efficient API comes with some stunning features such as modifications timestamps, sorting, paging, JSON Support/REST, OAuth authorization, and so on. So, when you are researching or trying to learn how to develop API, do not forget to know well about its must-have features. Apart from features, there is another thing to consider when it is about how to develop API and that is best practices for API management. Experts say that best practice for API management can be in this way-

Use throttling→ Consider the API gateway as enforcer → allowing HTTP methods →APIs and infrastructure evaluation →documentation

Today, we are finishing here. If you have more questions about API development or want to share your experience with us, kindly do that here in our comment box.

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