Posted on 06-17-2014
I recently reviewed a new API initiative from the Food & Drug Administration, called OpenFDA. I gave a whole list of things that they did right when launching the API, but one item that I thought was particularly interesting, was the actual interactive documentation for the Drugs API endpoint.
I talk a lot about interactive documentation for APIs, something that has become commonplace, and a building block that developers are starting to expect. What is different about the OpenFDA Drug API, is that the interactive documentation provides a visual interface for building API calls, going beyond the interactive, and often very form based documentation that is commonly seen in other developer areas.
Via the OpenFDA Drug API documentation you can actually build an API query by selecting from radio button values, which then updates the resulting URL query, some summary text, and generates a graph visualization of the resulting query. After building your filter, you can run the API query, and see the request and response, which is a common feature other interactive API documentation implementations.
The addition of a visualization, that is driven by each endpoint is very interesting, and something I’d like to see baked into the DNA of interactive API documentation. Helping me build an API call, visualize and understand the value contained within an API has huge potential. Currently we have Swagger, API Blueprint, and RAML generated interactive documentation solution, which are pretty similar—I’d love to see more visualizations integrated into future interactive documentation implementations.
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