It is tough to precisely articulate exactly what an API is, as well as understand how to actually implement them consistently at scale across any organization. APIS come in all shapes and sizes, and even with the dominance of resource oriented HTTP APIs. While we recommend all companies, organizations, institutions, and government agencies begin their API journey with resource centered HTTP APIs that leverage the web, we also recommend having healthy understanding of what a modern and diverse API design toolbox can look like.
When we first engage with a team regarding their API strategy, we ask a few questions to help us get a handle on just exactly how diverse their API design toolbox:
– Do you hand edit and work with OpenAPI (fka Swagger) definitions?
– Do you auto-generate OpenAPI (fka Swagger) definitions?
– Do you mock your APIs at any stage of their lifecycle?
– Do you share API designs between your API development teams?
– How much of your API infrastructure uses SOAP?
– How much of your API infrastructure uses REST?
– How much of your API infrastructure uses GraphQL?
– How much of your API infrastructure uses Kafka?
– How much of your API infrastructure uses Other?
While an organization’s usage of OpenAPI will give us some good intelligence on how evolved they are with resource focused web APIs, we are always eager to understand how much of the organization still depends on a legacy web services approach. While also fleshing out an organization’s appetite for GraphQL, Kafka, and other more recent evolutions help us better understand the API design culture that exists, or does not exist across an organization. Each answer we get helps us set the stage for discussions about event-driven infrastructure, or staying focused on the basics of RESTful API design using the web.
These questions are just the beginning of a wider survey we conduct when getting to know an enterprise organization in preparation for one of our Streamdata.io Journey™ workshops. If you are interested in seeing the full questionnaire, or learning more about our API workshops, feel free to connect. Streamdata.io is all about event-driven API infrastructure, but we are also about ensuring your enterprise organization is ready for event-driven API infrastructure, and sometimes that takes some investment in other areas along the API lifecycle, before you are ready.