Here at 3scale, we’re completely committed to making sure that anyone can have a successful API. Our API management product offerings provide a mature, trusted interface to handle your needs – as do many other companies – but many of our customers have asked for some help learning and understanding the API space. Without some understanding of the design choices, business value and developer marketing strategies, it can be very difficult to know where to start planning. The API Codex is designed to meet that exact need. We feature articles, videos and books created by industry experts in the field. Imagine walking into a library where everything available was curated and found to provide valuable insight into this space.
We’re always looking to make the product better by listening to our users, and we’re excited to announce that we’ve added a new type of entry in the codex – Tools. Even though the API space is relatively new, the tools available to help you execute your vision efficiently are numerous. However, without knowing what’s out there, you aren’t aware of the many ways that tools can help you. As with articles, the tools section is broken down into various categories – let’s take a look at a few of those categories so you can get started exploring.
In olden days, REST APIs were simply slapped on to existing products without much planning. The API ecosystem is evolving though, with open projects like the API Commons. As we start to mature into the use of this kind of pre-definition for APIs, you may be curious about your options. Our section on Schema Modelers highlights the choices you have available so you can test out various strategies to see what works best for you. Modeling your API up front means that you can get feedback before it’s done, and use that model to drive testing, documentation and discovery efforts.
As you’re building out your REST API, or building clients, frequently you will want to quickly prototype ideas. Doing this gives you the ability to communicate your vision for the service, but if this is time consuming it’ll take away from your main development time which can be costly. So we’ve got another section, on Prototyping, which includes tools designed to help you create quick prototypes using your API, validating the business value with your customers before finishing the development work.
Finally, when debugging your API, or when helping your developer partners use it, sometimes it’ll be necessary to debug behavior to understand what’s happening. One of the great things about REST APIs is that they are transparent – you can watch the traffic to see what’s being sent and returned, which allows you to iteratively determine why a particular action isn’t working correctly. If you don’t check out any of the other tools in our system, I strongly recommend that you play with some of the Traffic Sniffers and find one that you really love – do it now, when you’re not in crunch time, and find one that gives you the information needed in the most convenient way.
There are other tools and categories in the system, and we’re adding more all the time as we’re made aware of them. Feel free to send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or tweet us at @apicodex. Following @apicodex will also get you announcements when we add new content or features to the system.
The API Codex is a community resource – and the best way for us to make it great is for you to use it and tell us what you think, what else you need, and ask us questions.
I hope to see many of you in Amsterdam next week for the API Strategy and Practice Conference!