API Stack, APIs.io, And APIs.Guru Need You To Create And Share Your API Definitions
09 Jan 2016
I feel pretty strongly that for the next wave of growth in the API sector, we need the majority of public APIs in use today, to have well crafted, as complete as possible, API definitions in either OpenAPI Spec or API Blueprint. Yes I know, we actually need all of these APIs to be crafted using hypermedia approaches, but until then we need them all to possess machine readable API definitions, making them discoverable, learnable, and consumable.
It is easy to get hung up on this being about API discovery, but API definitions are enabling almost every step along the 35 areas of the API life cycle I am mapping out. Historically API definitions have bee used for interactive API documentation, but more recently are additionally being used to light up other aspects of API integration, such as setting up your API monitoring, loading into the API client of your choosing, or lighting up a mock server for use in development.
In addition enabling services and tooling throughout the life cycle, well crafted, complete API definitions is driving API design literacy. Many API developers and architects learn by reverse engineering the APIs they know, and a well crafted OpenAPI Spec or API Blueprint provides a detail blueprint for enabling this experience. API definitions make it easier to learn about good, and bad API design, in terms of the APIs you actually care about--equaling a much more open mind.
I've been working to define API definitions as part of my API Stack work, for over a year now. You can access all the APIs.json + OpenAPI Specs + API Blueprint + Postman collections under the /data folder for the project repository. Additionally, this repo is one of the sources of APIs.io which is an APIs.json driven open source API search engine, which provides an API for you to register and search for API definitions.
In 2015, I saw another strong player emerge, that I'm big on supporting--APIs.guru. The open source API definitions repository is looking to be the Wikipedia of API definitions, providing a single place we can find, robust, complete, API definitions in a variety of formats. They have done a lot of work to seed the repository with 196 APIs, possessing over 4000 endpoints, but they are looking to take things to the next level, and will need our help to this Wikipedia of APIs become a reality.
The API Stack, APIs.io, and APIs.guru all need you to help contribute, and refine the API definitions in their indexes. Developers around the world are using these definitions in their work, and modern API tooling and service providers are using them to define the value they bring to the table. To help the API sector reach the next level, we need you to step up and share the API definitions you have with API Stack, APIs.io, or APIs.guru, and if you have the time and skills, we could use your help crafting other new API definitions for popular services available today.
If you need help getting in touch with APIs.io or APIs.guru, there is contact information on both their sites. Alternatively, feel free to just ping me with the URL of your own Github repository, and I'll make sure your API definition index gets in sync with all of this new wave of open API repositories.