What Makes a great API System?
An Element of a great API system.
Before going into what makes a great API system, it is imperative to know about the parts that make up the API. These are;
- The API endpoint –It is the touchpoint at which the API allows two software programs to send back and forth information. The unique URL carrying all collected information
- Headers –They’re used for web communication to give server instructions about the changeable data in the request.
- The Method -This is a record of operations that usually involve the creation, reading, updating/and deleting of an asset.
- Data/Information -Data in a general sense is given when you want to create, update or delete something
- Parameter/Limit. -Params/Parameters are user stipulations advanced to the endpoint, a factor that affects the type of response generated
Most if, not all IT programs issue out an API. In large organizations, the staff opts to use APIs to merge multiple systems with each other. As an API user, you may have probably come across all types of APIS; the best ones, the good, and the not-so-good ones. Therefore, to equip you with knowledge of what an API should be like for it to be appropriate for Integration.
The following are what makes a great API.
- Timestamps-Take for example an instance where you want to acquire data from the directory, the most ideal solution to get this kind of information is by starting to ask for the last changes and their timestamp. You can tell if an API is good if it allows you to search directories by a determined formula in addition to providing timestamps.
- Paging – With a great API you can be able to restrict the volume of information/data that can be derived all at once and send notifications of the remaining ‘pages’ of data left.
- Sorting– For paging to work, data has to be ordered so as to find out whether you have received it or not. Consequently, a good API must be able to authorize data to be sorted according to the time alteration/moderation.
- REST- Owing to the development of new APIs, you will note that a majority of them are REST APIs by default. So how do they work? Say for example when you’re using a mobile Application and while in the process of uploading something you lose connection. REST APIs make it easier to retry the process with less effort, this is because they are more compatible as they use uncomplicated URLs for communication.
- Good API Documentation-Developers understand the importance of providing good, boundless documentation for an API. Good Documentation is made with the user in mind, assuming that they have no knowledge about the API methods, endpoints, or functions, and therefore require the use of examples integrated into the documentation.