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The elite technology group at the GSA, known as 18F, has released the latest copy of API guidance for federal government agencies to follow when designing their own APIs.

Using 18F’s own description:

This document captures 18F's view of API best practices and standards. We aim to incorporate as many of them as possible into our work.

APIs, like other web applications, will vary greatly in implementation and design, depending on the situation and the problem the application is solving.

I like the mix of info that is delivered as well:

  • High level design guidance that individual APIs interpret to meet their needs.
  • Low level web practices that most modern HTTP APIs use.

To top it off, the API Standards is hosted on Github, in its own repository, and as Gray Brooks from 18F says:

"Want a formal API Standards for your agency to adopt? Fork ours, add your name to the top, and make it your own."

Simple guidance like this goes a long way in helping, sometimes even very experienced developers, understand the best practices when it comes to designing, simple, modern APIs—a world where consistency and simplicity goes a long way!




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