The APIs, Application Programming Interface , are a means of exchanging information between different systems, something in great demand today. Therefore, API development is a skill increasingly required by companies for their IT professionals.

With these integrations, there is an increase in the good performance of different types of technological solutions, such as websites, applications, boots , etc. In an increasingly connected world, these tools are proving to be essential.

A company today uses more than one software to manage its business, and these systems do not always have native integrations. This ended up creating a high demand for developers and programmers.  

In this article, we'll talk about 5 best practices to avoid unwanted errors when developing APIs. 

What is API? 

First, it is worth remembering some concepts about APIs, as already mentioned, they are a mediation tool between systems. In this relationship, one of the systems “offers” a communication interface for another system to access its functions, data and resources.


In other words, APIs are a set of routines and patterns defined by a developer to facilitate the exchange of information between systems. 


The platform or software that receives the information does not need to know how that data was implemented, and this facilitates integrations between different types of systems. 


There are several types of APIs, because each one is created according to the needs of those who developed it, in addition, these tools can be created in different programming languages. 


When developing an API, one should take into account, in addition to good development itself, the creation of concise and clear documentation that facilitates its implementation.


Something common among APIs is the use of a pre-defined data format, such as XML or YAML, for exchanges between systems. JSON is the most used for APIs created for web applications, in addition there is an additional standard called REST.  


Learn more about API definition in the article: “What is API?” 🇧🇷

Advantages of an API

Generally, an API is created when a company that owns software wants other companies to create products associated with theirs. When well-developed, the API provides seamless integration of cross-platform features.  


APIs also facilitate maintenance and provide greater security for software . In addition to promoting innovation within the corporate culture, as they facilitate partnerships and help in the development of customized solutions.   


These tools also help to reduce manual work within a company and the same API can send data to desktop programs, websites and mobile applications.  


Best practices for developing an API


The API is created to be accessed by a large number of developers, so when starting to develop your tool, stick to some good practices. 


If the API is confusing and non-descriptive, its use may be difficult and this will make users look for other solutions. Keeping your API well structured and standardized your work will be more used.  


  • 1. Use the REST pattern 


The lack of standardization can be a big problem for a team of developers when it comes to API development. Therefore, instead of using Endpoints with verbs, opt for the REST pattern.  


For example, change “api/product/create_new” to “api/product”, with the HTTP POST method. Simpler and within a widely used standard, however the translation to REST will not always be simple. But, try to have a firm foundation.  


  • 2. HTTP Status Codes


As soon as a developer person makes a request to the server from an API, he must receive feedback from this request – be it negative or positive. And if the request has failed, it is necessary to inform the reason for the failure.  


This is exactly what HTTP status codes do, for example:


2xx (Success)


Codes starting with the number 2 mean that the request was successfully received and processed by the server. For example:


201 – Created: means that the instance was successfully created.


4xx (client-side error)

Codes starting with the number 4 mean that the client made a wrong request to the API. An example of such a status code below:


404 – Not Found: indicates that the resource requested by the user is not available or does not exist.


5xx (Server Error)

Codes starting with the number 5 mean that the request was made correctly by the user, however, something went wrong with the server. For example:


500 – Internal Server Error: indicates that the request is valid, but an unexpected error occurred on the server.


  • 3. Code writing standardization


Standardization is the word that a developer needs to keep in mind when creating an API, for good writing and readability this is no different: standardize your code writing.


And it is advisable that all people on your team adopt the same language standard for writing, thus avoiding a code that is difficult to understand and messy. 


  • 4. Filters and pagination


These features are present in most APIs, so developers need to pass the way filters and paginations will be used within the request URL. But how to implement these features?  


  • Filters: A good practice for a basic filter would be: GET/projects?order=responsible&like=skyone
  • Pagination: if the amount of data is very large, a good practice is to divide it into parts, that is, pages. Example: GET /projects?perPage=20&page=4


Technologies that help API development


Another option is to hire the service of an iPaaS platform that integrates all systems, such as Integra.Sky . Thus, it is not necessary to spend so much time creating new features and applications.  


The iPaaS Integration Platform as a Service is a set of automated tools for connecting software applications that are used in different environments, such as the cloud and on-premises systems.


Making this the best option to integrate Desktop and SaaS Systems quickly and efficiently, without the headache of producing complex APIs.


With Integra.Sky you connect systems, software , applications and automate your company's data and processes on a single platform. Ensure scalability, security and agility for your complex integrations, regardless of your business area.

The Integra.Sky team also offers the option of contracting onboarding, mapping constructions and integrations, and training to use the application. The technology requires little learning, which makes it more accessible to your team members.  

Using an integration platform to automate the exchange of data between systems reduces the number of errors and streamlines processes!

Understand how it works in practice here: Integra.Sky .


Written by

Sky.One Team

This content was produced by SkyOne's team of cloud and digital transformation experts.

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