Also referred to as Public APIs, the fact is that Open APIs have begun to get a lot of attention from the development community. APIs for those who don’t know stands for application programming interface and will allow for the owner of a network or a service to provide users with access to those specific services. APIs by their very nature are designed to give access to resources, but Open APIs do it slightly differently as mentioned by stoplight.io.
What is an Open API?
Open APIs have been fairly standard for a while because they are openly published and shared on the internet. Any software development company can release APIs to encourage developers to incorporate their resources and methods in creative ways. Once those applications pick up steam the resources are in hot demand allowing the owners of those businesses to monetize those resources successfully.
It has Many Benefits
Third-party developers of public APIs will make money mainly by licensing the new program which combines all the advanced functionalities or innovation that users either value or want. The developer of the open API in return expands their intended user base and that too without actively spending any money on advertising or marketing. Plus, they retain the rights to the source code of the API and continue to own the resources.
The Downsides of Open APIs
Like any other customer-oriented service or product, the slightest mistake can cause either damage the reputation or improve it depending on how well the API does. That’s why it is so important for businesses to focus on making sure that the Open APIs published are bug-free. Not to mention the fact that they should be super secure.
Open API Architecture
Open APIs are designed using a number of different methods through the priority is its architecture. That’s why developers are advised against using a propriety format or data structure. However, you would want to use open source technology and other community-driven standards for the best results.
Choosing Soap Over Rest?
Generally, you are faced with two types of API architectures the first being REST which happens to be the latest and most used over the past decade. The other is the slightly older architecture called SOAP. SOAP was the defacto standard back in the 90s and early 2000s and used XML as its default data exchange language.
Today RESTful APIs are more preferred mainly because they take up less space in memory and rely on JSON. Also, RESTful APIs are comparatively easy to develop though initially, they are hard to learn for newbie developers.
Open API Management
Now once your API is published, it is near impossible to control how well it does or how it is used. So, you should employ good API management from the beginning. Take for instance if you’re decommissioning old APIs or perhaps changing their syntax for a call method or altering the XML or JSON payload it is something that should be done gradually, be planned well in advance and should be announced.
Open APIs give businesses a whole new avenue of revenue if implemented correctly with the right measures in place. A lot of work needs to be done in order to avert failure from the very beginning. The reason being that once word gets out that the API is flawed it may not recover from that sordid reputation. So, resources should be invested in testing, re-testing and then making sure it is published in a way so that it is constantly monitored to ensure that there aren’t any issues.