Gartner Research

Guidance Framework for Creating Your API Developer Toolbox

Published: 09 October 2015

ID: G00281129

Analyst(s): Gary Olliffe


Architects who design and build great Web APIs need a complete set of tools to streamline and optimize the development life cycle. With the right tools to design Web APIs "contract first," you can use API definitions to drive documentation, code generation, testing and monitoring.

Table Of Contents

Problem Statement

The Gartner Approach

The Guidance Framework

  • Prework
    • Assess Your API Developer Personas and Scenarios
    • Assess Technology Preferences and Constraints
    • Define Your API Delivery Life Cycle and the Roles That Deliver It
  • Step 1: Select an API Definition Format
    • API Definition Is Not Just for API Documentation
    • The API Definition Options
  • Step 2: Select Tools to Optimize Your API Design
    • Select Payload Formats for Hypermedia APIs
    • Select Tools to Make Your API Design Process More Productive
  • Step 3 Select Tools to Optimize Your Service Implementation
    • Accelerate Service Implementation With Server Code Generation
    • Improve the Developer Experience With Generated Client SDKs
    • Use Service Virtualization to Decoupled Service and Consumer Developer
  • Step 4: Select Tools to Validate and Improve the Quality of Your API
    • Select Tools to Help Your Developers With Ad Hoc API Testing
    • Select Tools for Your Automated API Testing
  • Step 5: Select Tools to Help You Support, Improve and Manage Your Live API
    • Monitor What Your Users Experience With API Monitoring Services
    • Deliver a Great Web API With API Management Capabilities
  • Follow-Up

Risks and Pitfalls

  • De Facto Standards and Sponsored Formats
  • Open-Source Tooling With Limited Support
  • Overcomplicating the Toolbox
  • Focusing on Tooling Rather Than Good Design

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