by • May 24, 2023
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.
Here’s the key things to know about API Generation:
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The term “API generation” typically refers to the process of automatically creating an API based on existing code or specifications. An API is a set of rules and protocols that allows different software applications to communicate with each other.
When it comes to instantly creating an API, there are a few different approaches:
The aim of API generation is to simplify and accelerate the process of creating APIs, reducing the need for manual coding and ensuring consistency and accuracy in the resulting API.
By automating the API creation process, developers can focus more on the core business logic and functionality of their applications.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
As the demand for seamless integration between software applications continues to grow, developers face the challenge of efficiently creating robust APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) to enable smooth communication and data exchange.
Traditionally, APIs were built manually, requiring significant time and effort. However, with the advent of API generation tools, developers now have the option to automate the API creation process. Let’s compare the benefits and considerations of manual API development versus API generation tools.
Manual API development involves the traditional approach of manually coding the API infrastructure. Here are some key aspects to consider:
API generation tools automate the process of creating APIs by analyzing existing code or specifications. Some of advantages of utilizing such tools:
Both manual API development and API generation tools have their advantages and considerations. Manual development offers flexibility and fine-grained control, making it suitable for complex scenarios. On the other hand, API generation tools provide rapid development, consistency, and simplified maintenance, ideal for projects with time constraints or a need for standardized APIs.
The choice between manual development and API generation tools depends on factors such as project requirements, complexity, time constraints, and developer preferences. Developers must evaluate the specific needs of each project to determine the most suitable approach for API development.
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.
Contact our team today to start your free 14-day trial and learn more about our pricing options.
Managing Data as an Asset
Terence Bennett, General Manager at DreamFactory, has a strong operational, business, and extensive experience in government IT systems and Google Cloud. He started his career as a U.S. Navy Intelligence Officer, then honed his skills on Google’s Red Team and later became the COO of Integrate.io.
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