Every web application consumes APIs one way or another. These APIs can be Web APIs that integrate important functionalities like accessing the browser’s local storage or the RESTful, GraphQL APIs that lets the client and server communicate. Since APIs are widely used, they need to be thoroughly tested to ensure everything works as expected.
The job of API developers is not simple. They need to address a lot of different problems when building an API. These problems can be related to security, architecture, access to the end-user (if public API), monetizing the API, and more. Fortunately, this is where RapidAPI comes into the picture.
In this piece, let’s look at 22 ways RapidAPI makes API developers' lives easier than before.
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RapidAPI Hub is the world’s largest API Hub where you can find thousands of APIs. All you need is an account and you are good to go.
To find an API on the internet, you follow these steps:
- You first search for it on the search engine.
- The search engine provides website links.
- You open each website and see if their API fits the bill.
- Finally, you choose an API and start using it.
With RapidAPI Hub, you can do all this in a few minutes. It is a platform, an API hub that provides access to thousands of usable APIs. The APIs are categorized into 45 different categories, each containing hundreds if not thousands of APIs. It also provides a search feature where you can search for the API you need.
RapidAPI Hub can generate code snippets to call your subscribed API in 19 different programming languages. On top of this, it can also create code snippets in 42 different packages of these 19 languages.
These snippets are available on the API page. You can select the language and the package from the dropdown menu. Once selected, the RapidAPI Hub will automatically generate the snippet. You can click the Copy Code button to copy it to your clipboard.
RapidAPI Hub automatically adds an authentication layer to your API. The users will need to use their RapidAPI Hub key to call your API after subscribing to it. This way, you will know who is using your API and whether they are a subscribed user or not.
Please ensure that you have subscribed to the Jokes API by API-Ninjas to call it in the above interactive component.
With the RapidAPI built-in authentication system, you do not need to set up your own authentication layer. But if you do, it will act as additional security and you can configure it inside RapidAPI Provider.
RapidAPI Hub lets you offer freemium plans to your API users. They can subscribe to your API and use it for free for a specific limit.
You can set the hard or soft limits in the freemium model. The first one will let the user subscribe to the API and use it until the limit has not been met. Afterward, they will have to buy a premium plan. In comparison, the soft limit will automatically start charging the user after the limit has been met.
The freemium model is similar to the trial period you get after downloading software. The good part is it does not expire after a few days. For instance, if the hard limit is 1000 every month and you know your API calls will not exceed it, you can use the API for free.
RapidAPI Provider provides a list of people who are subscribed to your API.
You can also look at different information about your subscribed users. Let’s break it down and look at it separately.
Not only this, but you can also look at all sorts of information on this page, for instance:
- Your API can have more than one version. You can filter your users based on the API version they have subscribed to using RapidAPI Provider.
- You can filter your users based on their pricing plan.
- You can look up the total number of users who call your API frequently.
- You can see the total number of users who are subscribed to your API.
RapidAPI provides you with different features to make your API secure. These features include but are not limited to request schema validation, proxy timeout, threat protection against injection, limiting request size limit, etc.
You should always ensure that the APIs you plan to sell are not vulnerable to outside threats. The Open Web Application Security Project (OWASP) has listed 10 API security vulnerabilities that can break your API. Fortunately, RapidAPI provides protection against each of these vulnerabilities right inside the dashboard.
You can set custom alerts for your API inside RapidAPI Provider. These alerts will notify you immediately once a particular alert metric crosses a threshold.
You can create a custom alert by following these steps:
- Click on Alerts from the sidebar and click on Add New Alert.
- Give the alert a name and description, define a metric, set a condition, add a threshold, and set the measurement interval.
- Define the time interval before two alerts.
- Click on Save, and you are done.
RapidAPI Provider lets you version your APIs in less than five minutes. For each version, you can define different base URLs, endpoints, transformations, and more. You can also build on top of an existing version.
It’s a good practice to version your APIs because the users who are relying on the old API definition have some time before the API endpoints get deprecated. This way, their application will not break, and you can still have a newer version with partial support for the old one.
RapidAPI Provider lets you monitor your API and plots a graph to visualize its consumption. It provides all sorts of information like the total number of API calls, average error rate, average latency, etc. You can also filter all this analytical data based on different endpoints.
The RapidAPI Provider API analytics also logs all the API calls your user makes. This helps you address the edge cases and introduce bug fixes when the API call fails. Thus, it helps you improve your API.
RapidAPI Provider lets you notify all of your users right inside your API dashboard. All you need is to type the message and press the Send button. Once you click the button, every subscribed user will get an official email with your message in their inbox.
It’s essential to notify your users when something happens like you fix a bug or create a new release for your APIs. And due to this feature, you can quickly do it without a hassle.
If you are publishing a working API, the chances are that you already have its OpenAPI definition. If this is the case, you can automate this process by uploading the API spec file. All you have to do is select the Specify using OpenAPI option, upload your OpenAPI file, and the API will be good to go.
Publishing your API on RapidAPI Hub is pretty straightforward. Navigate to the Provider Dashboard, create a new API, and fill in the information regarding your API like its endpoints, parameters, documentation, URLs, etc. With the quick specify option, this process becomes even more smooth.
RapidAPI Hub for Providers is one of the easiest ways to create a mock API for testing, integration, or collaboration and you can set up your mock API in no time.
What is the first thing you do when you start using an API? You test its endpoints, send requests and observe their responses. Mock APIs serve the same purpose; they help you get an idea of the actual API in question by imitating it on a smaller scale. They can serve responses, replicating the data the real API would return, albeit following the same schema.
With RapidAPI Hub for Providers, you can enable mock responses for your API and forget about the technical details of mocking. So, take a peek at our guide on Creating a Mock API, and see how you can do it in less than five minutes. Fun fact, the interactive component above fetches data from the mock API we built in that guide.
Well constructed documentation ensures a good developer experience, which is critical for increasing the adoption of your API. RapidAPI Hub helps you create all the elements good API documentation must-have.
So, with RapidAPI you can create documentation that allows users to understand and connect with your API smoothly. Here are a few quick examples:
Authentication: RapidAPI automatically gives your API both authentication and user management functionalities. For developers consuming your API, this provides a seamless integration experience. Once the developers subscribe to your API, they can use the API key, which is communicated clearly in the parameters and the code snippets.
Endpoint Definitions: You can specify information, descriptions, and external documentation links for each API endpoint in your API Dashboard. So, you can easily show information like the endpoint URL, required and optional parameters for the endpoint, and the data returned by the endpoint in response.
Example Responses: Sometimes, it is unclear what data we can get until we receive the API response. In the endpoints section of your API Dashboard, you can specify example responses for any endpoint to show the users what to expect in return.
RapidAPI Hub is not limited to the conventional REST APIs and offers all types of APIs in one place. So, it has complete support for GraphQL APIs as well as Kafka.
As companies use more and more APIs, it gets difficult for the developers to keep track of them. Sharing the internal APIs with multiple developers across the organization becomes a challenge. RapidAPI for teams provides the collaborative solution you need for this purpose.
It provides a private workspace where you can publish, consume and govern APIs as a team. You can make an organization on RapidAPI, invite your team members and start working on internal and external APIs without a bother.
Today, more and more companies are using third-party APIs to abstract everything from authentication and geolocation to payments. So, API developers need a platform where they can showcase and monetize their third party APIs. Publishing your API on RapidAPI Hub will put it in front of over 3 million developers.
The interactive component above can give you an idea of the potential income you can generate by accessing all these developers. Whether your goal is to increase your API’s adoption or monetize it, there is a huge potential here.
The categorized collections of APIs, well-presented documentation, and smooth developer experience ensure that developers not only discover and use your APIs but also drive API adoption. It also facilitates API developers with easy submission of their APIs. So, they can concentrate on building APIs, and RapidAPI will take care of the rest - user management, billing, and monitoring.
APIs can slow down or even crash if they receive too many requests within a timeframe. You can use the RapidAPI Provider Hub and apply rate limits straight from the dashboard.
Rate Limiting is the process through which you limit the number of requests coming to your API in a certain amount of time. It allows API providers to keep their APIs running for all users by controlling the number of requests. All in all, rate-limiting is a critical defensive measure for APIs.
To implement one for your API, you need a sound technical knowledge of servers and middlewares and select one of the many available approaches for rate limits. Instead you can use the provider dashboard to implement these limits in a jiffy.
For example, you can set it to allow only 20 requests in one minute. Furthermore, many APIs offer multiple pricing plans to their users, and naturally, the rate limits for expensive plans should be better. That’s why in the provider dashboard, you can set different rate limits for different plans to provide a better developer experience.
Managing payments, subscriptions, and billing is a significant hurdle when monetizing an API. Keeping track of all this is not easy for an API developer. RapidAPI Provider Hub takes care of all things billing while you focus on delivering the best API for your customers.
Your customers will also want a smooth payment experience. You can use the integrated PayPal gateway to offer a smooth billing experience for your API consumers.
API transformations are powerful. They let you transform (alter) the data sent in your API's requests and responses. You can do a good deal of things using transformations offered natively by the RapidAPI Provider.
Within the dashboard, you will be able to use the transformation features of an API Gateway to shape the request/response as per your need.
Here is a little preview of actions you can perform using transformations:
- Change the endpoint URL of a request.
- Add a secret security parameter to the request.
- Remove sensitive or extra parameters from the response.
- Strip the headers of a request and add custom ones.
- Add a secret authentication parameter according to the pricing plan to restrict features.
- Support old versions by transforming the old-spec requests to match the latest version of your API.
Most organizations find themselves dealing with both internal and external APIs, and managing them together can be a hassle. RapidAPI Hub solves this problem because you can manage both internal and external APIs in one place.
Internal APIs are the ones that are only exposed to the clients and developers within the organization. These APIs generally move a lot of private data that needs to be protected at all costs. It may be related to their product, or it can be employees’ information. At the same time, developers within the organization need access to it, and this is where Internal APIs come into the picture.
External APIs are designed as per the needs of the external partners and third-party developers. These APIs may be developed for monetization or exposing the functionality of their product, such as the GitHub API. With RapidAPI, managing these APIs together is no longer a hassle.
RapidAPI Provider offers CI/CD for updating your API using its OpenAPI Specification. Moreover, RapidAPI Testing supports CI/CD hooks and seamlessly integrates with CI/CD pipelines managed by popular platforms like Jenkins, GitHub, and more.
Developers thrive on automation, and grunt work is a significant problem. With API development, continuous delivery and integration are a must-have. Without it, updating an API will be a redundant and slow process because once the new specification is ready, we will have to update it on the API portal manually.
The API ecosystem is all about developers. RapidAPI strives to improve the developer experience by solving some of the most impeeding problems they face with APIs.