Posted on 02-15-2012
I first wrote about interactive API documentation with Posterous’s new API area in June 2011, then the follow-up when Mashery deployed their own version called I/O Docs in July 2011.
Smart, interactive or I/O API documentation is an evolution of API documentation from static and often boring documentation, to more interactive and real-time experience, allowing you to make live calls against an API while also browsing the documentation that explains how it operates.
Peter Gruenbaum of SDK Bridge has surveyed and done exhaustive research on what developers say about API documentation and web API documentation best practices, proving that up to date, and complete documentation can be very successful in helping developers get up and running using an API.
The API Service Provider, 3Scale has stepped up with their own interactive API documentation for users of their platform using Swagger, an open-source framework that lets developers learn, play, test and debug each element of an API in real-time.
There are 3 main benefits for API owners coming from adopting Swagger:
- Automated, consistent generation of clean, beautiful, interactive API documentation
- Feeding into an industry wide API discovery language that both developers and non-developers can use
While many companies are providing API explorers for their developers to make live calls against their APIs, I think interactive documentation holds more value in educating developers about APIs, while also allowing them to make real-time calls. My feeling is that this makes some tough concepts stickier while trying to understand and integrate with an API.
Visit the 3Scale site for more information on using their API management platform for deploying interactive documentation, using Swagger, for your APIs.
Disclosure: I have consulted with 3Scale on industry strategy several times.
comments powered by Disqus
Winning in the API Economy
|Download as PDF|
Latest Blog Posts
- Thank You For Your API Evangelist Blog(s)
- Video From The Hypermedia Panel At API-Craft In Detroit Last Month
- Please Open Source Your API Before Shutting It Down
- Explaining My Work Around APIs In Higher Education To Institutions
- You Can Have An API Just By Choosing Products And Services That Have APIs
- Using Excel As An API Datasource And An API Client For The Masses
- Brewing Up Something Awesome With The Jive Software API
- Relationship Between APIs And Containers
- Real-time and Visualizations Will Be Key in Financial API Deployments
- Notification Focused Startups Within Leading API Ecosystems
- APIs That Do One Thing And Do It Well Like ZipLocate
- Which API Do I Need?
- The Expanding API Conference Landscape
- Ocotoparts Open Source Google Spreadsheet
- Andrew Nacin Of WordPress @APIStrat Chicago
- Push Button API Deployment With The Heroku Button
- WordPress Style API Modules For Government
- The Heroku HTTP API Design Guide
- What I Have Been Calling API Trends, Are Slowly Being Baked Into API Operations
- FDA Finding Their API Mojo With A New Drug Label API
- Adding PokitDok To Healthcare Research And The API Stack (Well They Did)
- Why I Am Continuing To Integrate Zapier In My Business Workflow
- Who Is Going To Build The Uber API Platform For The Sharing Economy?
- The API Focused Dev Shop
- Route SMS Messages To Google Spreadsheets Via Twilio API With TwilioSheet