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A Practical Approach to API Design

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A Practical Approach to API Design

From Principles to Practice

If you read the tech press, everyone knows they need an API but most aren't really sure what it is. They treat it as another checkbox like "Web 2.0" was a few years ago or a mobile app was most recently. In fact, there’s an entire “API-first” movement in development circles that most people don’t understand or even realize why..

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About the Book

If you read the tech press, everyone knows they need an API but most aren't really sure what it is. They treat it as another checkbox like "Web 2.0" was a few years ago or a mobile app was most recently. In fact, there’s an entire “API-first” movement in development circles that most people don’t understand or even realize why. In this book, we'll start by discussing the what an API is, why you might need one, and follow up with the how to build one.

This book is incomplete. In accordance with the Lean Methodology, we wanted to get a Minimum Viable Product out there into people’s hands as quickly as possible to gauge interest, collect feedback, and make sure that the work we’re doing means something to someone. As a result, we hope this book becomes a conversation as we continue writing. When you find something interesting, let us know. If you think we’re wrong, say so. If you think we’re right, tell your friends. If you want us to teach your team more and deeper concepts, please let us know.

Towards that goal, here are the chapters currently on our drawing board:

  • API Design Patterns
    • Idempotency
    • SOLID Design Principles
    • Naming - Resources & Parameters
    • Transactions
    • Authorization - Tokens vs Credentials
    • Link Relations
    • Composites
    • Versioning
    • Pagination
    • Error Handling
    • Caching - Strategies & ETags
    • Hard vs Soft Deletes
  • Data Architecture
    • Hypermedia Specifications
    • Data stores and storage
  • API Product Management
    • Team Dynamics
    • Partitioning API Teams
    • Selecting your Infrastructure
    • Estimating Costs
    • Release Management
    • Automation
  • Community & Support
    • Documentation
    • SDKs
    • Third-party development portals
    • Evangelism
  • Installments completed
    • 2 / 3
  • Feedback
  • Share this book

Table of Contents

  • Welcome
  • Changelog
  • Chapter 1 - APIs: An Introduction
    • What is an API
    • Why you should have an API
  • Chapter 2 - Principles of Pragmatic API Design
    • API or SOA?
    • API and SOA: Extend and Accelerate
    • REST vs. SOAP
    • APIs for Existing Applications
  • Chapter 3 - Beyond CRUD
    • Building APIs for Business Workflows
    • Affordances
    • Why you should trust others’ APIs
  • Chapter 4 - The API Modeling Process
    • Summary of the Steps
    • Step 1: Identify the Participants
    • Step 2: Identify the Activities
    • Step 3: Break Each Activity Into Steps
    • Step 4: Create and Group API Methods
    • Step 5: Validate the API By Testing
    • Common Questions About API Modeling
    • Next Step: Design
  • Chapter 5 - The Principles of HTTP and REST
    • HTTP Core Concepts
    • Web APIs and the Richardson Maturity Model
    • Back to Basics: The 6 REST Constraints
    • The Next Steps
  • Chapter 6 - From Modeling to RESTful Design
    • Building Your Resource Taxonomy
    • Defining Resource Lifecycles
    • Mapping Response Codes For Success and Failure
    • Expanding Resources Through Hypermedia Linking
    • Common Questions About API Design
    • Next steps
  • Closing.. for now
    • Want to stay informed about everything API-related?

About the Authors

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