Advantages of API First Approach In App Development
By Ambab Infotech
Web APIs have been around for nearly two decades, but the concept of “API first” has only recently gained hold with software developers. The number of developers who design products based on APIs is rising. So, first and foremost, we’d want to expose you to the concept of API and why this technique is gaining popularity. Let us discuss the advantages of Api’s first approach in App development in this article.
What Does an API-First Approach Imply?
An API-first approach implies that your APIs are treated as “first-class citizens” in any development project. The project’s whole design is based on the assumption that mobile devices will consume the end result and that client applications will use APIs. An API-first approach entails designing consistent and reusable APIs, which can be accomplished by establishing a contract for how the API should behave using an API description language. Establishing a contract entails devoting additional time to the design of an API. Additionally, it frequently entails other preparation and consultation with stakeholders who provide feedback on the API’s architecture before any code is produced.
However, by adopting an API-first approach, your teams can collaborate without interfering with or messing with the apps’ internal development plan, eliminating or lowering the potential of failure.
API-First is becoming increasingly popular
Humans and machines are both consuming data in today’s world. Humans consume data through applications, which are frequently accessed through a variety of devices, including smartphones, laptops, tablets, and desktop computers. There are many various sorts of gadgets, which means there are many distinct screen sizes. Organizations must create visually appealing and functional apps across a wide range of devices.
APIs enable businesses to segment their capabilities into discrete, self-contained units of service (aka microservices). The usage of microservices in the development of apps can help to ensure a positive user experience (UX) across all devices. An API-first strategy enables enterprises to design APIs that support all applications, allowing apps to be developed and maintained quickly across all devices, platforms, and operating systems.
Additionally, the API-first method works for simpler development ecosystems. Numerous advantages to beginning your project at the API level are explored in detail below.
It lowers the cost of producing mobile applications
APIs and code can be reused across a wide range of projects and applications. In order to create a new app, a development team does not have to start from scratch, which is both time-consuming and expensive. API-first design also allows for the majority of problems to be resolved prior to any code being created, which helps avoid problems when it comes time to link APIs with applications in the future.
Teams of developers can collaborate on the same project at the same time
The initial step in API is the creation of a contract. Teams throughout an organization can work on numerous APIs at the same time by establishing a contract between services that are followed by all of the teams. Rather than waiting for API updates to be made available before moving on to the next API, developers can go on immediately. Teams can create mock APIs and test API dependencies depending on the API description that has been defined.
Flexibility in Terms of Language and Platform
APIs provide a standardized interface via which various microservices can communicate regardless of language or platform. Because API-first development encourages the design of standard and reusable APIs, the API-first strategy can assist your systems in integrating with a wide range of services – regardless of the languages or platforms on which they are implemented or run.
Systems with greater scalability
APIs’ loose connections ensure that the services they expose are as stateless and RESTful as feasible, which is important in today’s world. REST APIs enable “loose” connections to be established while minimizing or removing the need for external dependencies. Scalability is improved as a result of the ease with which instances of a single microservices application component can be deployed, replicated, and destroyed in response to varying demands on the system.
Increased Flexibility for System Upgrades and Updates
Well-designed APIs – and they encourage independent app/client interactions – enable pluggable, component-based systems. This plugability enables the addition, removal, or upgrade of individual services/features without affecting other system elements.
Customer Experience Enhancement
API-first development became popular when developers wanted to design completely functional user interfaces on mobile devices. API-first and mobile-first have linked design ideas because users want rich, multichannel experiences.
APIs such as social logins, Google Calendar integrations so users don’t forget appointments, and Stripe integrations spare users from entering their payment information when making a purchase increase CX by removing friction. APIs allow diverse technologies to communicate with one another in a seamless manner, resulting in great user experiences.
Faster Time to Market
Because APIs are modular and reusable, they speed up development. Your in-house staff doesn’t have to code every feature from the start or combine two systems. Instead, they begin with integration and work outward. The use of APIs facilitates the use of microservices, which are pluggable features.
From there, front-end and back-end teams can work on their respective areas of the program without having to wait for each other. Because these functionalities only need to share an API, they don’t need to build on each other. For most companies, reducing development time means saving money. That’s true whether your team creates an API or buys one. Customers of Auth0 often report releasing weeks or months ahead of schedule compared to coding their identification solution in-house.
Reduces the possibility of failure
APIs are utilized in practically every business function for most firms, from marketing and sales to communication and consumer-facing applications. APIs lower the risk of failure by ensuring that they are dependable, consistent, and simple to use by developers.
A few years ago, there was no such thing as an API-first approach. The term API is increasingly becoming more well-known today. As a result, companies interested in pursuing this strategy will have an easier time locating practical examples that may serve as legitimate sources of inspiration, as well as a large number of potential users.
Of course, we can’t completely dismiss the consumer-first strategy, which is still widely used today. However, as time goes on, we may expect an increasing number of businesses to adopt the API-first approach. Hopefully, they will get it right and perfect it over time.