Table of Contents
- Rest API Documentation
- Users of Rest API Documentation Tools
- Benefits of Rest Documentation Tools
- REST API Documentation Tools
- Elements of Good API Documentation
Web API documentation tools are becoming increasingly useful in handling huge projects that need review, editing, and publishing. Traditional methods required the use of manual labor to create resourceful API documentation. However, things are changing as new developments are continually made in the online world. It is possible to make online documentation and integrate it with different codes to build an excellent API.
Rest API Documentation
Restful web services are seeking to be the pacesetter in the web services space, and it is gaining a lot of popularity as huge numbers of people continue to use it as their preferred API.
The API is an agreement between the proprietor and the users that set the protocols for effective communication. The agreement has to be documented so that both parties can benefit. You create API documentation tools by providing a starting point. Identify and give detailed information for the API endpoints. Identify the operations in the endpoints and setup parameters for the operations.
Set up authentication measures and acquire the necessary API licenses and permissions. Restful API documentation is important as it:
• Creates awareness as satisfied clients refer others to use the tools.
• Saves time and money. Good documentation enables the user to have an easy time using a tool. This way, clients will not need to constantly send emails or call the support desk, reducing expenses on the expenses raised to find the customer support department. Good documentation will also help the user save time as it provides easy navigation and instructions to use a tool.
• Improved adoption. Good documentation results in users choosing to use an API in their tasks.
• Encourage users that are not experts in engineering. An organization has people who are not experts in coding. Providing easy coding methods promotes inclusivity in discussions and improves team performance.
Users of Rest API Documentation Tools
Thousands of web application programming interfaces are made by developers to launch them into the world, but they cannot do this without documentation. Software developers make up for the huge percentage that uses these documentation tools.
The other group that utilizes this API is the individuals and companies who seek to resolve issues and find solutions to their API needs.
Benefits of Rest Documentation Tools
Benefits make it easy for a user to evaluate if having these rest documentation tools will serve the intended purpose.
High-Quality Design – Various layouts allow you to view the panels and navigate through the menu. The design makes it easy to use, thus improving the user’s satisfaction and improving its reputation.
Customizable – Allows users to access the entire source code and change it to suit their needs. They can also take advantage of tweaks made by other users, especially for open source tools.
Stability – Some documentation tools such as swagger have been around for a long time. The versions have been worked on and upgraded. The users consider it to be mature since it does not change often.
Code Generators – Rest documentation tools have multiple languages that are supported by code Generators. This feature allows the users to synchronize the database and backend services and create server stubs in their preferred language.
A Large Number of Users – Some of these documentation tools are used by many companies and individuals, making it easy for people to find solutions among themselves. It also makes them reliable.
REST API Documentation Tools
Documentation tools make learning very easy for developers and give easy access to information. A good documentation tool also reduces user entry points and looks more professional. API Documentation Tools used by Rest include:
It is an open-source tool that enables one to build, design, document, and use restful APIs. Swagger has components that help it to execute its functions better. The swagger editor, for instance, allows you to write a specification on open API.
The swagger user interface turns the openAPI specifications into interactive API documentation. The swagger Codegen uses client libraries from openAPI specification to create server stubs.
DapperDox enhances the use and quality of the API documentation. It has multiple themes you can choose from, and you can also opt to build your own theme.
DapperDox can integrate your APIs with an inbuilt API explorer and document cross-referenced products from multiple API specifications. This is one of the web documentation tools that enables a user or developer to adjust the guides and incorporate API specifications as its structure is flexible.
It has a Reactjs component that is integrated into the react project very easily. It supports other modules such as the CLI tool and is well organized to help you navigate the APIs. In the ReDoc tool, the specifications are displayed on the browser and not the HTML.
Known for its easy to use interface, this tool can build documentation for OAS 2.0 and 3.0 documents. It supports multiple client generators and is highly extensible. It allows for community support where developers become a resource by coming up with ways of creating documentation. It also shows different document formats.
One can convert an OAS document into Cwiki or HTML format. Besides, users can generate server stubs for different languages using the OpenAPI Generator.These are the most common rest API documentation tools. However, others include API transformer, API specifications Converter, and LucyBot Docgen.
Elements of Good API Documentation
Having good documentation translates to achieving business goals in a short time. It also allows users to read and learn about an API.
i. API Call Explanation
An API call refers to queries made and logins that are made to a server using APIs. The API call is made when a request is created and sent through a URL. If the request is valid, the API requests data from an external program, and it receives a response.
The API then relays the data to the initial program that made the request. An API call takes place in stages, and a good API documentation tool should show you how these stages occur.
ii. Explains and Allows Access to SDK examples
A software development kit is a combination of development tools that are usually specific to an operating system and help create applications.
They are installed as a single package. Examples of SDK include authentication, messaging and notification, crash reporting, payment, and analytics. A good API documentation tool should provide software development kits examples and describe how users can gain access to resources in these development tools.
iii. Provide Programming language
iv. User Manual
This is a quick guide that provides a lot of instructions to help the user start the API. It can also be used for reference in case the user encounters a problem when dealing with software.
The manual can include images that are accompanied by a text for explanation. Numbered steps make it easier for a user to refer. Good API documentation should also have authentic data and sample requests and responses.
Automation of the API documentation process using the Web API documentation tools will save you time and energy and improve the client’s experience and earn your company a good reputation.