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What is API Driven Development?

API Driven Development
June 22, 2018
By Blue Pi
Reading Time: 3 minutes

The application programming interfaces make two applications talk to each other by acting as a software intermediary. Each application programming interface (API) is designed as a collection of functions, protocols, commands, and objects. Normally, the APIs expose specific internal functions of the software application to an external application in a limited and restricted way. But they still enable the application to exchange data with the external application and perform specific actions on behalf of the other.

The developers even have the option to create a variety of APIs according to the precise needs of the application. Within a short span of time, APIs have become an integral part of software development processes. A large percentage of programmers nowadays prefer API driven development to conventional programming methodologies to build custom software applications that deliver optimal user experience without writing lengthy and complex code. However, the beginners must understand the important aspects of API driven development approach.

Why API Driven Development is Different from Conventional Programming Methodologies?

The API driven development approach requires API architects to create APIs before the application’s frontend and backend are developed. The API architects will further collaborate with both frontend and backend developers to finalize the API contract. The API contract will include both API specification and signature. The front-end developers will start developing the application’s user interface based on the finalized API contract. Also, they will create and fine-tune the end-user experience based on the API contract.

Likewise, the backend developers will also create and implement the underlying logic for the API based on the finalized contract. At the same time, the testing professionals will also create dedicated test suites based on the finalized API contract. Finally, the frontend and backend developers will integrate their implementations. The integrated implementations will work seamlessly as the frontend and backend developers have written code based on the finalized API contract. However, the developers can implement the API code through a number of standards. Likewise, they can accelerate API development and testing by using a number of robust tools.

Why Most Developers Nowadays Opt for API Driven Development?

Speed up custom application development

The API driven development approach emphasizes the application accessing subsidiary services through APIs. Also, the frontend and backend developers can keep writing code simultaneously based on the finalized API contract. They can even integrate the frontend and backend implementation seamlessly. Hence, API driven development methodology helps enterprises to speed up custom application development.

Enables developers to focus only on business logic

In addition to reducing overall software development time, an API driven development further enables programmers to focus only on business logic. It even allows developers to complete user management, logging, and similar subsidiary services through third-party APIs. The developers are even not required to implement the application’s skeletal technical structure. They are required only to focus on creating and implementing business logic based on the finalized API contract.

Option to document and describe APIs

Nowadays, developers have the option to choose from a wide range of third-party APIs. Many enterprises even keep their APIs easy to find and use. Most of these APIs are even documented adequately. The developers can even use specialized tools to gather information about various APIs. Hence, they can easily use the appropriate APIs to complete subsidiary services. At the same time, the developers can further create great documentation to make their own APIs easy to find, use, and understand.

Keep applications modular

Often developers have to build custom software applications based on complex business requirements. They explore ways to build and maintain complex software applications rapidly by keeping them modular. API driven development enables developers to keep software applications modular. The developers can even use APIs to implement the microservice architecture. The architecture makes the software application as a collection of micro applications that interact with each other through APIs. They can further maintain and scale the application quickly by adding, updating, or removing specific APIs.

Connect the application to varied devices and services

In the age of the Internet of Things (IoT), devices interact with each other consistently through embedded devices. The enterprises nowadays require applications that interact with varied third-party applications and services smoothly. The APIs help developers to build applications that deliver optimal user experience by interacting with external applications and services. At the same time, API driven development helps programmers to write applications that remain relevant in the IoT age.

On the whole, API driven development requires enterprises to plan and implement the software development process based on APIs. The development of an application’s frontend and backend commences only when the API contract is finalized. But many enterprises switch to API driven development to speed up software development, improve user experience, and stay relevant in the connected world.

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