What is the Importance of Designing Standardized APIs?
APIs have grown more popular in the last couple of years, with organizations developing multiple APIs to help in the running of their day-to-day activities. This popularity has brought up a new requirement – the need to design standardized APIs. Standardizing APIs play a crucial role in making the APIs easy to adopt, maintain, and consume.
However, most organizations are not giving API standardization the attention that it deserves. They fail to invest enough resources in standardizing the APIs they design for their processes.
Even though some of them might not understand the value of a standardized API design, they all expose their designs to future problems that might affect integrations with other applications.
Creating a standardized API design involves the process of building an effective computing interface with easy maintenance and implementation of an API, as well as easy consumption by the API users. Designing an API requires one to think about the consistency of the API design, which should apply to all APIs that they want to build.
It involves a common regulation for architects, developers, and technical writers. Following these regulations ensures that they create consistency, a good experience, and a brand in the consumption of their APIs.
Designing standardized APIs means that one is following the best practices and recommendations needed for an effective API. They do this with all APIs designed in the organization. Apart from helping developers recapitulate on the design of their APIs within a short time, the designs make the API implementation easier and faster.
Furthermore, standardizing the API design ensures that developers work together seamlessly when building APIs. It also makes sure that every stakeholder involved with a particular API knows how the API is designed, how it works, and the conventions and standards to follow when building new APIs. All this makes the entire process easy and straightforward.
Imagine a situation where an organization has developed amazing APIs that do exactly what they are supposed to do but have very few or even no users implementing the APIs. Would such an organization be successful? Well, in such a situation, the APIs are products that the organization offers to its customers. It is through the APIs and the rate at which they are consumed that the success of such an organization will be measured.
An API user is a developer who understands how APIs work. They use APIs to develop better applications and to allow communication and sharing of data between different applications. Designing standardized APIs will not only ensure that your APIs are being used, but also ensure that the API users will have a seamless and improved experience when using the APIs.
In addition, designing standardized APIs makes your APIs consistent and familiar. For instance, if a developer uses your API to meet a certain functionality that they need with their application, they will find it easy to use another one of your APIs in the future since you follow the same design regulations when building your APIs.
When an organization decides to invest in the design and development of APIs, they are not doing this once and forgetting about it. This is usually a long-term project. With standardized API design, organizations are not only assured of a seamless API implementation but are also assured of regulating the design of new APIs and how the APIs are updated.
Further, since designers should have marketing skills, it gets quite easy for them to market any API that an organization designs and creates. This is because of the consistency and sustainability of all the organization’s APIs.
With the standardization regulations implemented and in use, organizations can simply use them when developing APIs, something that scales the development and design process of APIs. This practice helps organizations to minimize the chances of having issues with consumption and maintenance in the long run. It also makes the entire API program sustainable.
The design of an API has a direct impact on how services and clients interact. This means that organizations that implement different design standards or work without any when building their APIs have very high chances of exposing the development and implementation of their APIs to overheads and confusion. In addition, it leads to inconsistencies that will have a negative impact on applications implementing the APIs, and the organizations building the APIs as well.