Application programming interface (API) enables two or more systems to communicate and exchange information seamlessly and securely. It allows business organizations to open up their applications’ data and functionality to other internally, third-party developers, and business partners. API quality will also enable products and services to connect and leverage the information they contain via a secure interface, making many business processes simpler, faster, and more efficient.
The use of API has surged over the last few years. Rapid API
reported that 61% of developers utilized more APIs in 2020 from 2019. Furthermore, 71% intend to integrate more in 2021. As a result, many widely used web applications will not work without API integration.
With more companies using APIs, it means that the competition in this field will increase as well. Therefore, quality is an important characteristic when it comes to APIs to remain competitive. Moving forward, the use of API will capture a massive chunk of the market.
How to Keep API Quality in Check?
If the code that makes API work is measurable, then so is the API itself. The following characteristics help check the quality of an API. The weight of each characteristic depends on how critical an API is for a business during its creation.
Quality APIs Lead to Trust
This characteristic is measured based on how an API behaves during unexpected and unfavorable conditions. For instance, if the database suddenly goes down or a surge in network usage, it is essential that an API can handle this properly to demonstrate resilience.
To demonstrate this characteristic, an API must accept any information without biases and send data with great caution. It should not crash when it receives a poorly formatted record and can respond with a set of instructions that helps the recipient fix a problem. In some cases, if restructuring or refactoring of the code is required, the API should not break.
Since a ton of data is involved in API use, the API should handle integrations and deployments securely. It should also be able to handle open-source issues promptly.
High-quality APIs are adequately documented, well structured, and easy to integrate with other systems.
Consistency is a vital characteristic of API quality to ensure that it can be used widely. It should be something that can change with backward compatibility or the introduction of new features without hurting its existing users. If it cannot be avoided that a change may cause some form of impact, its users should be informed in advance.
More than half of decision-makers believe that using APIs should be a top priority among businesses to cope with the demands of the modern world. So, if you are building APIs that will be used internally or will be made available to every developer, your main objective is to get the trust of these users. Creating quality APIs is a surefire way to build trust with API consumers.
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