The Business of Creating Well-Defined APIs

APIs should be well-defined to minimize user frustration and maximize potential for use.

Traditionally, a software application would be designed in a silo to accomplish a specific function and might work within a custom architecture that bore little resemblance to the other application architectures with which it would be deployed. Bridging the gap between two application silos often required deep product knowledge, strong scripting skills and even a healthy dose of luck.

These days, application programming interfaces (APIs) are used to simplify the process of integrating applications. Every day, billions of APIs are executed to run our businesses. But simply publishing APIs is not enough. APIs should be well defined, with clear guidelines for use, to minimize end user frustration and maximize potential for (re)use. To accomplish this, consistent API standards need to be part of the design process. Although this requires more up front work, it can make the development process smoother and position the application for future growth.

Sponsored by the Council for Technical Excellence (CTE).


By Stephen Breese and Yatin Dawada | June 30, 2016