Application programming interfaces (APIs) have become necessities in business operations, driving innovation and allowing for business agility. Embarking on digital transformation is no longer just a choice for businesses, it is a must for any company that wants to compete in the digital economy. Don’t just take our word for it, though. A recent study shows that 97% of enterprise leaders agree with the statement that APIs are essential for business survival. This guide to API generation will show you how implement these practices into your business.

Plus, did you know that the global investment into APIs is estimated to be around $23.6 million annually? Numbers don’t lie, and with numbers like these, it’s clear that APIs have become essential in the digital transformation process. It’s no surprise, considering that companies can use APIs to enhance business operations and keep sensitive data safe.  

In addition, with APIs being so vital to the digital transformation process, it’s important that businesses gain access to safe and secure APIs fast. This is where API generation comes into play, as it allows companies to quickly deploy APIs without coding them from scratch.

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Understanding API Generation

This guide to API generation refers to API generation as the process of instantly creating, securing, and deploying an API. Essentially, API generation is an alternative to creating an API from scratch. API generation is where automation comes into play.

To understand better whether API generation is right for your business, let’s look more closely at the five steps to creating APIs from scratch. The process can be broken down into five key steps:

  • Determine Your API Specifications
  • Design Your API  
  • Develop Your API 
  • Verify Your API  
  • Deploy Your API 

How To Build APIs From Scratch 

While creating an API from scratch is generally a straightforward process, it can take a considerable amount of time for developers to complete. Here’s a quick breakdown of the five core steps that are generally required to manually create an API. 

Step 1: Determine Your API Specifications  

When creating an API, the first step requires determining the API’s primary use cases. You will need to determine your API’s functional requirements and non-functional requirements. Functional requirements will focus on what your API can do and what its business capabilities will be. In comparison, non-functional requirements generally focus on your API’s performance and response time. The endpoints you choose will serve as the foundation of your API. 

Step 2: Design Your API 

After you’ve determined the requirements of your API, it’s time to tackle the API design process. During this step, you need to design how your API interface and backend will be set up. You will essentially create an API mock server based on the OpenAPI documents you created. This is where each of your API endpoints is outlined.  

Step 3: Develop Your API 

After you’ve carefully outlined your endpoints in your OpenAPI document, it’s time to undertake the API development process. When developing your API, the API interface will be captured using a service description language. For REST APIs, OAS, Swagger, or RAML are used as the description language. For SOAP APIs, WSDL is generally used for the description language.  

Step 4: Verify Your API 

Once you have developed your API, it’s time to verify it. Testing your API ensures it will work under various conditions. In addition, you will want to ensure that your API can complete an API call.

During the API call, the user will ask the application to retrieve some information. The application will then use an API to ask web services to complete the request. If your API does not work under a testing environment, it gives you time to fix any problems before the official deployment. 

Step 5: Deploy Your API 

Once your API has been designed, developed, and tested, it’s time to deploy your API. From cloud APIs to web APIs, the majority of APIs are hosted on API gateways upon deployment to ensure that they maintain their expected performance, security, and scalability requirements.

Once your API is published, you will also want to ensure that your API documentation is accurate, as it will serve as a reference manual for anyone that needs to work on the API once it has been deployed. In addition, you will want to establish your API keys as they can be used to authenticate users. This ensures that only individuals with the right permissions can make changes to your API.

Is this guide to API generation helpful? Check the top 5 reasons to use API generation!

Manual API Development vs. API Generation

As you can see from the outline above, manual API development takes a considerable amount of time. In comparison, API generation gets APIs up and running in no time at all. Also, you don’t need a lot of experience because low-code and no-code software solutions handle most of the work for you.

Low-code technology solutions like those found at DreamFactory help individuals with little to no tech or coding skills quickly build applications by removing the need for hand-coding. These low code solutions automatically generate most of the code needed to create the application through a graphical user interface. 

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Generate a full-featured,documented, and secure REST API in minutes.

Sign up for our free 14 day hosted trial to learn how.

How To Automatically Generate APIs 

If this guide to API generation makes sense to you and it seems like API generation could benefit your business operation, it’s time to discover how. Through API generation with DreamFactory, you can integrate any SQL or NoSQL file storage system or external HTTP or SOAP service and instantly generate a fully documented REST API that’s comprehensive, flexible, and ready to use. 

Overall, the easiest and most efficient way to generate an API is through the DreamFactory platform, where you can instantly generate, secure, and deploy REST APIs that benefit your business. REST APIs will deliver data in real-time using the lightweight JSON format, which is similar to the programming languages in C-family, Python, Java, and JavaScript.

Contact our team today to start your free 14-day trial and learn more about our pricing options. 

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