Best Practices in Designing an Effective API

Designing well-established Interfaces

Ali Zeynalli

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Photo by Med Badr Chemmaoui on Unsplash

There is no software system in isolation. Software systems communicate with each other to request or response some data. This is also called interoperability. Interoperability is about the degree to which two or more systems can usefully exchange meaningful information via interfaces in particular context.

Software systems can exchange this information in synchronous (RESTful, SOAP etc. ) or asynchronous manner(Event sourcing, Messaging Middleware, RSS-Feeds). No matter how systems communicate with each other, well-defined interface is a crucial point here.

An effective API must have some common peculiarities. Every performant API should be

  • complete
  • well-documented
  • hard to misuse
  • easy to use
  • easy to work with

RESTful APIs are very popular nowadays and are extensively implemented in modern software systems. Designing API in REST style makes it RESTful. Let us have a look at some best practices based on REST API examples.

  1. Use collections — Collection is a set of domains that are important enough to be context as separate resources (based on Single Responsibility Principle).

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Ali Zeynalli

IT-Architect | BMW Group | M.Sc. Technical University of Berlin