APIs are essential for developing web applications, and they provide you with all the functions you need to read and write data on the server. The public REST APIs let you fetch data from an external resource to display them on your screen.
When designing an API and for using it, there are certain best practices that developers follow. Let’s take a look at some of them.
When designing an API, there might be an endpoint that provides you with all the user data. This endpoint can return thousands of entries, even those records that the user does not need. Here API pagination plays a crucial role in helping to solve this problem.
The API designer writes the API so that it only sends a specific set of records with a single API call. The developers can use query parameters to specify the page number to get the next set of records.
The API designer should design the API in a way that makes it fault-tolerant. It is the practice where the API designer reminds the developers that outages sometimes happen, so they should plan to handle scenarios accordingly if the API does not respond. This way, the failure of the API invocation does not lead to a failure at the client side.
The user may send too much data, or the API request can not be properly executed because of a network issue. In these instances, you would need to have a fallback in place. Here you can set up API timeouts where the user request will fail after a certain amount of time, and the user will get a status code of 500.
If your API is public, you must ensure that the developer will not run into a cross-origin resource sharing problem (CORS). Otherwise, they will not be able to fetch data from your API.
If you introduce changes that will break your API, it would be a good practice to version it. So, developers have something to fall back on before finding time to update their codebase to the latest API release.