by Spencer Nguyen • December 29, 2022
Programmers spend more time coding APIs than debugging, testing, or documenting APIs. Building APIs manually is an arduous task that prevents professionals from focusing on other tasks. Luckily, you don’t have to waste time creating APIs by hand. Instead, you can rely on instant API generation that does most of the work for you. Of course, you want to make sure you choose the right types of API generation for your projects.
Learning more about your options should help you select low-code API generation tools that cooperate with web applications, various data types, multiple programming languages, and the devices in your IT ecosystem.
Recommended reading: 5 Reasons to Use API Generation
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Different types of APIs tend to work better in certain use cases. For example, you would likely use open-source public APIs to expose endpoints to anyone interested in accessing your data. However, you would probably want an API gateway with robust authentication features when you need to control who can access your information and microservices.
One of the first steps in API design relies on choosing the right type of API that meets your need.
REST API standard for “representational state transfer application programming interface.” You might choose REST API generation when you want a flexible option that lets you easily add your own schema that describes how the API works with other internal APIs, web services, and other API calls.
Some key features of REST APIs include:
Additionally, REST APIs do not require routing information for a user’s first URI (uniform resource identifier).
DreamFactory provides a low-code REST API generation process that can integrate with SQL and NoSQL databases. It also provides full API documentation and cooperation with HTTP or SOAP services.
SOAP API stands for “simple object access protocol application programming interface.” SOAP architecture is usually more complex than REST architecture. SOAP API messages must come in XML formats that contain an envelope, header, body, and fault.
Some developers prefer SOAP API when connecting web services. SOAP APIs also offer strong security features, built-in error handling, and support for older legacy systems.
It also has some disadvantages, especially when compared to REST APIs. For example:
If you currently use SOAP APIs, DreamFactory can instantly turn them into REST APIs without ostracizing your current users.
Originally known as Swagger, OpenAPI Specification is an open-source, collaborative project run by the Linux Foundation. Some developers like OpenAPI because it takes a language-agnostic approach.
OpenAPI recommends using a GUI interface for OpenAPI generation. (You can find an OpenAPI generator on GitHub.) However, you can build them by hand.
You can configure open APIs to let anyone interact with your database or microservices. Users might not even need to submit authorization validation keys. Why would you want to give everyone access to your service? Businesses have found several ways to benefit from providing open access. You could use open APIs to:
Businesses and individuals use public APIs daily, but they rarely think about it. For example, you use a public API when you ask Google Maps to give you directions to a destination.
Web APIs offer client-side communication between endpoints and applications. You can configure them as public or private APIs, depending on how you want to expose information and whether you have security concerns. If you want a private web API, require users to provide access tokens.
Users typically interact with endpoints via URI, which posts HTTP requests and awaits responses. Web APIs have also become an essential aspect of how websites function. For example, you use a web API when you tell your website’s homepage to display recent tweets or other social media posts. The website sends requests to the relevant service’s API, which sends back information that gets added to the page. Although this isn’t the only way that websites could function, it has become the standard approach.
Recommended reading: The Types of APIs Your Organization Might Need
After API generation, you will probably need to manage your API to make sure it serves its intended purpose and doesn’t expose your organization to security threats. API management involves tasks like:
These tasks probably wouldn’t take long if your organization only had one or two APIs. It’s more likely that you need to manage dozens or hundreds. That puts a significant burden on your programmers.
Artificial intelligence (AI) has become an increasingly plausible way to manage APIs. AI can potentially manage APIs by monitoring usage and adjust to user needs without compromising security.
Currently, few organizations rely on AI to manage their APIs. That doesn’t mean you need to spend a lot of time reviewing API permissions, configs, and other features. DreamFactory lets you manage all aspects of your API ecosystem from one dashboard, making it much easier for you to understand whether you need to make adjustments.
API development and management doesn’t need to take a lot of time. Start your 14-day free trial with DreamFactory to determine whether it has the API generation features that can streamline your workflows.
When to use API Generation Vs. Manual Development
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