Thursday, May 22, 2014

Rest API best(?) practices reloaded

Implementing Rest services is a very trivial task for many languages. This means that, no matter which underlying framework you choose, with some minimal configuration and a few lines of code you can have in less than an hour a running Rest service. While this is really convenient, especially for inexperienced people, it can lead you very quickly to a low-quality API design. So before you start writing some code, step back for a minute (or more) and think. Try to design your API. Spend enough time to understand the business domain and figure out what API clients need from your system. For instance, if your system is a database for coin collectors, decide if you want to allow clients to add new coins or just fetch existing data. What kind of queries are needed? How will you handle requests that will retrieve a large amount of data? Answering this questions quite early will help you develop a more realistic API.

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