How to Master RESTful API Design? 6 Things to Know
How to master RESTful API design? In the 21st century, developers recognized the need for well-made APIs. The largest companies in the world created an opportunity for small developers to access their data. Naturally, that opportunity was created by implementing their APIs.
The API is an interface, which is used for interacting with data. When it`s well-made, it will make the developer`s job much easier. In order to make things more for those who don`t know much about APIs, we can say that APIs are something like GUI for developers.
If he encounters a problem, the developer needs to find his way around it. When we are talking about API design, there are no official standards and methods. But API design has best practices that can make your job as a developer much easier.
Jump to a Heading
Before your API gets released, you need to work on a couple versions of it. Improvements can always be made, and maybe it has the potential to be better in the future. You don’t need to make huge changes to the code, all you need to do is update it or include a new feature.
This can be great from a financial standpoint as well. new features will bring in more users, and much easier adding new features than developing a new API from scratch. After your API becomes more used and popular, the need for updates is going to emerge.
You won’t design an API all on your own, you’re going to work with a few developers. While you may think you know the standard developer lingo, you probably don’t know the entire API terminology. Even if you’re not a developer, you need to get familiar with the basics, including:
- Uniform Resource Locator (URL) is a path to the resource location. Some actions can be performed on the URL.
- The resource could be an object or a representation. It is associated with data and has a number of methods that can be used on it.
- Collections are a set of resources.
3. Filed Name Casing Convention
There are more than a few casing conventions. You can choose any one of them for your software. It is important to be consistent throughout the whole software.
If you are using JSON in your response type or request body, you need to follow camel case at all times. That way you will maintain the consistency in design and make sure that every segment of your API works well with each other.
4. Searching, Sorting, Filtering, and Pagination
Searching, sorting, filtering, and pagination are the queries on the dataset. However, you cannot just be familiar with the names of the queries, you need to know the basics of their operations.
- SORTING: For example, when you want to retrieve the whole list from the database, that list should be sorted in some way. Retrieving a list which doesn`t have the sorting prams is not really helpful. You could sort it by the name, date etc.
- FILTERING: When writing the query, if you need some particular information, you should do filtering. For example, if you need to retrieve a list of companies, and after that, you need a list of companies which are based in the UK, you should write that in your query.
- SEARCHING: This one is pretty simple. Searching for the particular part of data. It can be done by name, data etc.
- PAGINATION: Pagination is something that needs to be done when your dataset becomes too big. By dividing that dataset into smaller parts, you will improve the performance and make it easier to manage.
There are countless API endpoints for a wide range of operations. All of those endpoints are containing different outmoded actions. As the number of those endpoints increases, API becomes harder to manage.
URL should consist only of resources. API path should consist of action and the resource name. Although, API path that has only resource name is something that is considered to be a good endpoint.
6. HTTP Verbs
HTTP has a number of sets that define the types of actions that need to be executed:
- GET is a method that requests the data from the resource, without creating any other effect.
- POST is a method that is making a request to the server, that creates a resource in the database.
- PUT is a method that makes a request to the server and updates the existing resource
- DELETE is a method that requests that the resource gets removed from the database.
In recent times developer realized APIs potential. After the big companies released their private APIs public, the expansion happened. When the REST service came up to the stage, along with JSON, the new standard was created.
Today more than 70% of all API requests are through REST Microservices. As we already said, designing a RESTful API is a difficult job, so better learn the conventions we listed above if you want to make your job a little bit easier.
We hope our article was helpful and entertaining to read. If you have some questions or something to add, feel free to leave a comment down below. We will respond on a short notice. Thank you for reading our article.