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Seamless API Lifecycle Integration With GitHub, GitLab, and Bitbucket

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Seamless API Lifecycle Integration With GitHub, GitLab, and Bitbucket

API services in the API lifecycle can sometimes be tricky to manage. In this post, we take a look at how the API lifecycle can be integrated and managed seamlessly.

· Integration Zone ·
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This is a story, in a series of stories that I'm doing as part of the version 3.0 release of the Stoplight.io platform. Stoplight.io is one the few API service providers I'm excited about when it comes to what they are delivering in the API space, so I jumped at the opportunity to do some paid work for them. As I do, I'm working to make these stories about the solutions they provide and refrain from focusing on just their product, hopefully maintaining my independent stance as the API Evangelist, and keeping some of the credibility I've established over the years.

GitHub, GitLab, and Bitbucket have taken up a central role in the delivery of the valuable API resources we are using across our web, mobile, and device-based applications. These platforms have become integral parts of our development, and software build processes, with GitHub being the most prominent player when it comes to defining how we deliver not just applications, but increasingly API-driven applications on the web, our mobile phones, and common Internet-connected objects becoming more ubiquitous across our physical worlds.

A Lifecycle Directory of Groups and Users

These social coding platforms come with the ability to manage different groups and projects, as well as the users involved with moving the project forward. While version control isn't new, GitHub is credited with making this aspect of managing code a very social endeavor which can be done publicly, or privately within select groups. Providing a rich environment for defining who is involved with each microservice that is being moved along the API lifecycle, allowing teams to leverage the existing organization and user structure provided by these platforms as part of their API lifecycle organizational structure.

Repositories as a Wrapper for Each Service

Five years ago you would most likely find just code within a GitHub repository. In 2018, you will find schema, documentation, API definitions, and numerous artifacts stored and evolved within individual repositories. The role of the code repository in the API lifecycle when it comes to helping to move an API forward from design to mocking to documentation, testing and other stops along the lifecycle can't be understated. The individual repository has become synonymous with a single unit of value in microservices, containerization, and continuous deployment and integration conversations, making it the logical vehicle for the API lifecycle.

Knowing the Past and Seeing the Future of the API Lifecycle

The API lifecycle has a beginning and an end, as well as many stops along the way. Increasingly, the birth of an API begins in a repository, with a simple README file explaining its purpose. Then the lifecycle becomes defined through a series of user-driven submissions via issues, comments, and commits to the repository. Which are then curated, organized, and molded into a roadmap, list of currently known issues, and a resulting changelog of everything that has occurred. Making seamless integration for individual repositories, as well as across all of an organization's API-centric repositories pretty critical to moving along the API lifecycle in an efficient manner.

Providing a Single Source Voice and Source of Truth

With the introduction of Jekyll and other static page solutions to the social coding realm, the ability for a repository to become a central source of information, communication, notifications, and truth has been dramatically elevated. The API lifecycle is being coordinated, debated, and published using the underlying Git repository, becoming a platform for delivering the code, definitions, and other, more technical, elements. We are increasingly publishing documentation alongside code and OpenAPI definition updates, and aggregating issues, milestones, and other streams generated at the repository level to provide a voice for the API lifecycle.

Seamless Integration With Lifecycle Tooling Is Essential

Version control in its current form is the movement we experience across the API lifecycle. The other supporting elements for organizational, project and user management provide the participation layer throughout the lifecycle. The communication and notification layers give the life cycle a voice, keeping everyone in sync and moving forward in concert. For any tool or service to contribute to the API lifecycle in a meaningful way, it has to have seamless integration with Git, as well as the underlying API for these software development, version control, DevOps, and social coding platforms. Successful API service providers will integrate with our existing software lifecycle(s), serving one or many stops, and helping us all move beyond a single, walled garden platform mentality.

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Topics:
integration ,github ,gitlab ,bitbucket ,api lifecycle

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