23 Developer Problems Solved by Rapid in 2023

Sat Jun 04 2022

16 min read

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.

Every web application consumes APIs in 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 let 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 Rapid comes into the picture.

In this piece, let's look at 23 ways Rapid makes API developers' lives easier than before.

Rapid API Client for VS Code

With Rapid API Client for VS Code, we have brought API testing right where you feel at home. The extension is a full-featured HTTP client that lets you test and describes the APIs you build or consume. Designed to work with your VS Code themes, the API Client makes composing requests, inspecting responses, generating code, and types simple and intuitive.

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Here are some of the features the API client offers:

  • Call APIs From VS Code
  • Multiple environments support for testing APIs
  • Create Projects And Sync Them With Cloud
  • Generate Types & Interfaces From API Response
  • Generate API Request Snippets
  • VS Code Theme Support
  • One-Click Requests From Clipboard

Go ahead and try it out yourself.


Your own API Hub

With Rapid API Hub for Business, you can create your own API Hub that reflects your organization's color scheme, set a custom domain, and add your own stripe account to keep customer data private.

This allows developer organizations to promote their APIs and showcase their value in their own dedicated space. Along with this, it helps with differentiating their brand and enhancing the experience for their partners and developers.


One-Stop-Shop For APIs

Rapid API 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.

All of it seems like a hassle. With the API Hub, you can do all this in a few minutes. It is a platform 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.


Generate Code Snippets To Call APIs

With Rapid API Hub, you can generate code snippets to call APIs in 40+ different ways. You can also copy the generated code with a single click.

These snippets are available on the API playground of all APIs. You can select the language and the package from the dropdown menu. Once selected, the API Hub will automatically generate the snippet. You can click the Copy Code button to copy it to your clipboard.


API Authentication To Make Your API Secure

Rapid API Hub automatically adds an authentication layer to your API. The users will need to use their Rapid API key to call your API after subscribing to it. This way, you can track who uses your API and avoid unsubscribed users.

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Please ensure that you have subscribed to the Jokes API by API-Ninjas to try it out above.

With Rapid 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 Rapid's API Studio.


Freemium model To Try Before Purchase

You can use Rapid API Hub to offer freemium plans to your API consumers. They can subscribe to your API and use it for free to 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.


Automatic Test Generation to Regularly Test Your APIs

With Rapid API Hub, you can extensively test APIs with automatic test generation. It lets you create API tests without the need to create testing workflows manually.

One common use case is if you are unsure how to write an API test. In that case, you can utilize the automatic test generation feature of Rapid API Hub. All you will need to do is call the API with the help of the user interface and click on the Add to test button.


API Alerts To Prevent Catastrophes

You can set custom alerts for your API inside the API Hub. These alerts will notify you immediately once a particular alert metric crosses a threshold.

You can create a custom alert by following these steps:

  1. Open the API test and head to Testing Settings from the navbar.
  2. Scroll down and under Failure & Alerts, click on the plus (+) icon.
  3. Provide your name, email, and other additional details, and press Submit.

The alert will be set up, and it will notify you on the provided email as soon as an API test fails.


API Versioning To Provide Backward Compatibility

Rapid API Hub 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.


API Analytics To Monitor Usage

Rapid API Hub 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 Rapid API Hub 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.


Schedule API Test to Ensure Your API is Up All the Time

Your API must always be up if you want people to use it. You can write tests to ensure this. But the API can break later due to any reason. To address this, Rapid API Hub lets you schedule tests for your API.

When you schedule a test, you have to select the scheduling frequency. Rapid API Hub offers every six, twelve, and twenty-four hours on the free package. You can upgrade to a premium package if you want to run the test every minute or five minutes.

By scheduling tests, you can look at the Rapid API Hub dashboard later to check if any scheduled test has failed. You can also set up alerts to notify you when a test fails.


Specify an API In One Click

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 Rapid API Hub is pretty straightforward. Navigate to the Rapid API Studio, 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.


Create a Mock API in Five Minutes

Rapid API Studio 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.

Choose an endpoint:
User
Get mock data of a single user
Users
Get mock data of all the users

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 Rapid API Studio, 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.


Create A Well-Structured Documentation

Well constructed documentation ensures a good developer experience, which is critical for increasing the adoption of your API. Rapid API Studio helps you create all the elements good API documentation must-have.

You can create documentation that allows users to understand and connect with your API smoothly. Here are a few quick examples:

  • Authentication: Rapid API Studio 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 project. 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. Inside the Endpoints section in Hub Listing of your API Studio, you can specify example responses for any endpoint to show the users what to expect in return.


GraphQL And Kafka Support

Rapid API 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.

You can add a GraphQL API and specify it using its GraphQL schema. The same goes for Kafka. Try the GeoDB Cities API, a GraphQL API on Rapid API Hub.


Share And Collaborate On APIs

As companies use more and more APIs, it gets difficult for developers to keep track of them. Sharing the internal APIs with multiple developers across the organization becomes a challenge. Rapid API Organizations provides the collaborative solution you need for this purpose.

You can create your own organization and invite your team in it. You can make an organization on Rapid API Hub, invite your team members, and start working on internal and external APIs without a bother. It provides a private workspace where you can publish, consume and govern APIs as a team.


Access Millions Of Developers

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 Rapid API Hub will put it in front of over 3 million developers.

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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 Rapid API Hub will take care of the rest - user management, billing, and monitoring.


Native Rate Limits For Your API

APIs can slow down or even crash if they receive too many requests within a timeframe. You can use the Rapid API Studio to 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 middleware and select one of the many available approaches for rate limits. Instead, you can use the Studio 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 Studio, you can set different rate limits for different plans to provide a better developer experience.


Built-in Payment Gateways For Easy Billing

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. Rapid API Studio 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.


Easy API Transformations

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 Rapid API Studio.

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:

  1. Change the endpoint URL of a request.
  2. Add a secret security parameter to the request.
  3. Remove sensitive or extra parameters from the response.
  4. Strip the headers of a request and add custom ones.
  5. Add a secret authentication parameter according to the pricing plan to restrict features.
  6. Support old versions by transforming the old-spec requests to match the latest version of your API.

Manage Internal And External APIs In One Place

Most organizations find themselves dealing with both internal and external APIs, and managing them together can be a hassle. In your Rapid Organization, 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 Rapid API Hub, managing these APIs together is no longer a hassle.


CI/CD For APIs

Rapid API Studio offers CI/CD for updating your API using its OpenAPI Specification. Moreover, Rapid API 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.

Globaly Execute API Tests

Rapid API Hub provides you with an efficient API testing tool that enables you to test your APIs across nine different data centers. This feature allows you to perform API tests from various geographical locations, enabling you to gather valuable information about your API's performance.

By using this tool, you can optimize your API's performance by gradually improving its latency and ensuring that it operates smoothly across all locations. This can be particularly important if your API is used by a global audience, as it ensures that your users have a seamless experience, regardless of their location.

Wrap Up

The API ecosystem is all about developers. Rapid strives to improve the developer experience by solving some of the most impeeding problems they face with APIs.