3 mins read

API-First Approach: The Defining Factor Of Your Project’s Success

3 mins read

Application Programming Interface (API) forms a key element in software development and is solely responsible for connecting devices with one another, providing an interface of communication between each.

While they have been commonly used to facilitate easy integration between systems, servers, applications, software, etc. the API-first approach has gained huge traction, giving a backseat to the traditional strategy of code-first.

The API-First approach has offered enhanced flexibility to software development and is growing in prominence. Let us unveil how and why.

The API-First Project Development Strategy

In the ever-expanding interactive mode where data consumption occurs at a large scale between humans to machines, machines to humans, and machines to machines the interaction capabilities are required to be prioritized to render excellent connected experiences.

API enhances the experience for the end consumer.

In the ever-expanding interactive mode where data consumption occurs at a large scale between humans to machines, machines to humans, and machines to machines the interaction capabilities are required to be prioritized to render excellent connected experiences.

While the code-first approach in the development lifecycle stresses upon the product/service and its resources, the API-first strategy orients its focus on the consumer needs first and then building out the service/product.

Majorly, it’s not the code that you start with but is to initiate with designing, planning, mocking, and testing the interface for an application or a software product. The API-first strategy follows the agile software development principles by creating the interface mockups of diverse front-ends of the product instead of directly jumping onto developing the core functionality and writing its respective codes.

The approach before designing feature UI sharpens the API for this feature.

Roadmap to Implement API-First Approach

Before pivoting on the APIs, be mindful of the following primary aspects:

Determine the Product’s Key Services

Identify the key services or functionalities of the end product and partition them to collect the information of the product endpoints. Say for an eCommerce the endpoints would be to get the price, get item description, etc.

This is required to confirm/review their API designs and how the interactions between these would occur from a feature perspective.

Define API Endpoints

The above practice helps to define the granularity of the API endpoints. Defining API endpoints is significant to enable maximum reusability while simultaneously ensuring that they are not increased after a limit.

Document API Definition

Record the information about all the API endpoints and should be auto-generated so that they sync with the code when required. Documenting API definitions enables programmers to develop the product/application without friction as it details how API requests must be structured along with the possible return responses.

Establish API Style Guide

The API style guide is essential to set up as it ensures the entire development teams accommodated within an organization adhere to the same API versions, error handling status codes, etc.

Run Automated Tests

The built APIs must undergo quality control checks and validations via an automated suite of unit, regression, and integration testing which preserves the intent of the features in all iterations and ensure there are no breaks in functionality.

This becomes quintessential when there are enormous client APIs with their customized requirements.

Set Up A Developer Portal

Build a portal, that is, a commonplace where all the API-related resources (like API contracts, specifications, documentation, and more) are preserved which is central and accessible to all developers.

Does the API-First Approach Prove Advantageous?

Parallel Software Development

The API-first technique facilitates parallel development via establishing contracts. Creating service contracts is followed by teams and enables them to work on multiple APIs simultaneously.

Programmers do not have to wait for API updates to be released before proceeding to the next one. With API definitions, mocking APIs and testing their dependencies can be done parallelly.

Accelerated Development Procedures

Beginning with API development instead of coding may seem to cause delays in the product deployment and time to market; nonetheless, the technique empowers to use existing software and infrastructural power that facilitates faster software deliveries.

With automated tools, the process of building APIs is accelerated, allowing the import of API definition files, thus speeding up API development and application development. Furthermore, this approach makes it possible to add new services and technologies without needing to re-architect the entire system.

Improved Developer Experience

A developer is considered as a consumer, an intermediary, or an end-user of a product of an API. Thus, the API-first strategy enables making an API this is more like the product and less like the technology which makes them functional and easy to use by the developers.

It creates a rich ecosystem for developers where developers can get API information seamlessly and at their instant disposal, thus, creating applications with great ease.

Is your Organization Applying the API-First Approach?
This particular approach can benefit enterprises in a myriad of ways, where there is a need to realize their potential in software development. API-First helps build products/services in an agile and adaptive environment in the most efficient way possible.

We at CodeGlo, aid organizations to implement this strategy to build future-proof digital products and assets that are truly device and system-independent and encourage a reliable internal and external client’s interaction with services.

Allow our developers to organize your enterprise’s infrastructure for the better using the API-First approach.