Planning Your API’s Capabilities

Planning out your API's capabilities is one of the most important steps you can take to make sure you’re designing an API developers will love to use. Surprisingly, while being one of the most crucial steps in API development, this step is usually rushed through by companies excited to generate a product map and start working on code.

Why is planning your API’s capabilities so important?  In many ways, building an API is like building a house. You can say, “I want my house to look like this picture,” but without the blueprints, chances are it isn’t going to turn out exactly the way you had hoped.

It’s important that you create a solid foundation for your API, just as you would a house. You should understand what your API should be able to do, and how it will work. Otherwise, you may lock yourself into a poor design or worse—create an API that doesn’t meet your developers’ needs. If that happens, you’ll find yourself taking a lot more time and spending a lot more money to fix what you should have planned up front instead.

An API’s interface is a contract, and as such cannot be constantly changing. Many developers are hardcoding resources and actions, and as such changing the resource name, moving it or changing the data properties can be detrimental to their application.

To make sure you’re designing your API well, and for best practices in understanding your API's capabilities, download the eBook Undisturbed REST: A Guide to Designing the Perfect API.

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