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4 Methods to Make Your API Truly Discoverable

4 Methods to Make Your API Truly Discoverable

By Bill Doerrfeld on .

The software industry has shifted to truly embrace web APIs as products, rather than ancillary services alongside the traditional business model. Because of that, API providers are naturally placing greater emphasis on marketing these services and creating a new identity that caters well to third-party developers.

If you are an API advocate or product owner, you may feel the pressure to get your service into the hands of developers by spreading the good word at hackathons, webinars, or attending API-related events. Word of mouth is an excellent tool, but before you start printing business cards, there are other actions you can take to naturally increase the discoverability of your service. 

In this post, we’ll review some methods and tools that API providers can use to improve the visibility of a web API —  helpful for API owners in the process of releasing a new public web API or promoting an existing one. We’ll explore:

  • API portals from an SEO perspective,
  • Profiling an API within developer directories,
  • The viability of API discovery formats...

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Categories: api ecosystem, apis, community, featured guest series, openapi

Monolith to Microservices: Transforming a web-scale, real-world e-commerce platform using the Strangler Pattern

Monolith to Microservices: Transforming a web-scale, real-world e-commerce platform using the Strangler Pattern

By Kristen Womack on .

Microservices are hot these days. According to Google Trends, searches for “microservices” were almost non-existent five years ago.

Maybe your team is one of the many now moving toward a microservices architecture. And with good reason: breaking a monolithic application into smaller, simpler services increases your project’s velocity, your ability to scale, and allows you to react more quickly to change.

In 2011, I was part of the Best Buy transformation that broke down the monolith of the website into separate web services. This is the story of that transition from monolith to microservices at one of the world’s biggest e-commerce platforms—what we learned, what worked, and how you can learn from our experience—while highlighting two keys in our transformation success: focusing on culture, and using Martin Fowler's Strangler Pattern.

But first: How did we get...

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Categories: community, featured guest series, microservices

You Might Not Need GraphQL

You Might Not Need GraphQL

By Phil Sturgeon on .

Do you like the look of GraphQL, but have an existing REST/RPC API that you don't want to ditch? GraphQL definitely has some cool features and benefits. Those are all bundled in one package, with a nice marketing site, documenting how to do all the cool stuff, which makes GraphQL seem more attractive to many.

Obviously seeing as GraphQL was built by Facebook, makers of the RESTish Graph API, they're familiar with various endpoint-based API concepts. Many of those existing concepts were used as inspiration for GraphQL functionality. Other concepts were carbon copied straight into GraphQL.

Facebook has experimented with various different approaches to sharing all their data between apps; remember FQL? Executing SQL-like syntax over a GET endpoint was a bit odd.

Facebook got a bit fed up with having a one-endpoint-based approach to get data and this other totally different thing, as they both require different code. As such, GraphQL was created as a middle-ground between endpoint-based APIs and FQL, the latter being an approach most teams would never consider - or want.

That said, Facebook (and others like GitHub) switching from RESTish to GraphQL makes folks consider GraphQL as a replacement for REST. It is not. It is an alternative. 

Whilst the use-cases for the sort of API you'd build in GraphQL are quite different from those you'd build with REST (more on this) or RPC, that...

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Categories: graphql, featured guest series, design, community, apis

Ensuring Microservices Success: Key Things to Consider

Ensuring Microservices Success: Key Things to Consider

By Janet Wagner on .

This is the first post in our Featured Guest Series! Janet Wagner shares eight tips on how your company can ensure success when moving to a microservices architecture.

Microservices are all the rage these days, and you can find blog posts on most technology news sites and blogs about the topic. Major technology companies like Amazon and Netflix have been evangelizing microservices for quite some time now. The number of businesses building microservices architectures to power web and mobile applications is growing at a rapid pace and with good reason. There are significant benefits for companies running applications on microservices architectures such as high availability, high scalability of both the architecture itself and the engineering teams developing it, and ability to innovate and add new features faster. 

If you are one of the many companies that have decided to venture into the world of microservices, there are a lot of things to consider. Do you start with a monolith or microservices architecture? How do you define the scope...

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Categories: featured guest series, microservices, community

OpenAPI / Swagger Resource List for API Developers

By Heitor Tashiro Sergent on .

The OpenAPI Specification, formerly known as Swagger Specification, is a simple yet powerful way of describing RESTful APIs, in a machine and human readable format, using JSON or YAML. It has a large ecosystem of tools that can help you design, build, document, test, and visualize your APIs.

Crafting good APIs is no easy task. OpenAPI brings a lot of benefits to this process, whether you approach it from a design-first or code-first perspective. The ecosystem of tools can help you generate interactive documentation, SDKs for your APIs in multiple languages, and server stubs.

But getting started with OpenAPI can be challenging. Figuring out how to start writing a spec from the ground up or for existing APIs, which tools, cloud providers, and frameworks support the specification, the differences between 1.2, 2.0, and the upcoming 3.0 versions, and finding open-source generators for your SDKs are only a few of the questions you can run into.

That's why we decided to aggregate the best resources in a single place, and hopefully, guide you on this journey in implementing and making the most of your OpenAPI specification [...]

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Categories: api ecosystem, openapi, swagger

Using Google Sheets and Runscope to Run API Tests with Multiple Variable Sets

By Sam Aybar on .

We frequently run into users who are looking to run an API test multiple times, using a variety of initial variables. For example, the user might be looking to:

  • Test the same request against a list of user ids, where user_id is the only query string parameter that changes.
  • Test edge cases for an API call. Passing a string to an endpoint that expects an int, or passing special characters to it, and making sure that nothing breaks.
    Share tests and results for multiple variable sets with other teammates for debugging.

We have been able to accommodate this feature for a long time using our Batch Trigger URLs. With a GET request to a Batch Trigger URL, you can pass in an array of objects to specify initial variables for the test, and kick off up to 50 test runs at one time using different sets of variables.

But what if you want an easier way to do this than to try to format an API request with a bunch of variables and build a JSON array with the different sets? And how do you match up your responses easily to the different sets of variables? What if we could make this easier?

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Categories: debugging, integrations, testing

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