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Design APIs

As engineers, you need to clarify the functional purpose of an API based on the business requirements and then translate the business language into technical language. The benefits of a well-designed API include improved developer experience, faster documentation, and higher adoption for your API.


For API7 Enterprise documentation, you will use the Swagger Petstore as an example to guide you through the full API lifecycle management.

How To Write Your Own OpenAPI Specification

OpenAPI specification files in JSON or YAML format allow defining RESTful APIs that follow API design best practices. This ensures reliability, consistency, and scalability. Open-source tools like Swagger Editor and OpenAPI GUI help create, edit, and validate OpenAPI specifications. Many IDEs and code editors also have plugins to work with OpenAPI files.

The RESTful API architecture includes the following key characteristics:

  • Unique identification of resources: Each resource has a unique identifier, such as a URL.
  • Uniform interface: Use standard HTTP methods and status codes, such as GET, POST, PUT, DELETE, and so on.
  • Stateless: APIs should not store client state information. Each request should contain all the necessary information for processing, facilitating horizontal scalability.

Helpful Tools

Here are some useful tools that can help with writing OpenAPI (formerly Swagger) specification documents:

  • Swagger Editor: An interactive editor for creating and testing OpenAPI specifications online. Swagger Editor provides auto-complete, real-time validation, and example generation.
  • Stoplight Studio: A visual modeling tool for designing APIs and generating OpenAPI specifications with mock data.
  • OpenAPI Generator: A tool for automatically generating client SDKs, server stubs, and documentation from OpenAPI specifications. OpenAPI Generator supports multiple languages.
  • Postman: A tool for providing an OpenAPI importer and exporter to convert between collections and specifications, as well as automatically generating codes.
  • OpenAPI CLI: A command line tool that provides completion and validation. OpenAPI CLI is used to work with OpenAPI files.
  • OpenAPI GUI: A desktop application for Windows and Mac Operation Systems (OS) that provides a GUI for editing OpenAPI files in YAML or JSON format.
  • REST United: A suite of OpenAPI tools including mocks, documentation, test, and code generation.
  • Apicurio: A Web-based OpenAPI specification editor with real-time validation and mock. Logo

API Management for Modern Architectures with Edge, API Gateway, Kubernetes, and Service Mesh.


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