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API Design Industry Guide: The Restlet Platform Story

This post is from the latest copy of my API Evangelist API Design Industry Guide, which provides a high level look at the API design layer of the industry. Providing a quick look at the services, tools, and some of the common building blocks of API design. The guide is heavily rooted in REST and hypermedia, but is working to track on the expansion of the space beyond just these formats. My industry guides change regularly, and I try to publish the articles from them here on the blog to increase their reach and exposure.

Restlet began as an open source Java API framework over a decade ago and has evolved into an API studio, client, and cloud platform with an API design core. At the center of the API lifecycle management platform is its API designer which gives you a visual view of an API and an OpenAPI or RAML view, providing a machine readable accounting of each API’s contract.

The Restlet Studio allows you to design and document your APIs, starting from scratch, or import existing API design patterns using OpenAPI for RAML. Using the Restlet design UI you can shape the paths, parameters, headers and complete requests and responses for any API. Then, take the definition and actually put it to work in development, staging, or production environments.

Restlet demonstrates how API design is more than just a momentary phase where you are developing APIs and is actively defining every stop along the API lifecycle from design to deprecation. While designing an API in the Restlet API Studio, you can also work to test and automate using the client, helping ensure a usable and complete API is designed. The Restlet Client provides a dashboard to verify the desired API contract in a way that can be shared across teams, with clients, and across stakeholders.

Once the API design process has matured and evolved and is ready for deployment, Restlet empowers production deployment by, generating server and client side code with documentation and a landing page for consumers to access and put an API to work. The Restlet Cloud provides all the components you need to quickly deploy, manage, and scale an API, while using the API design studio as the central place where truth around the API is defined — touching every other aspect of API operations.

Less of a plug for Restlet, I am hoping it is a demonstration of how API design is central to every aspect of API operations and can be central to API service providers. API design isn’t just about the technical design of the surface area of API requests and responses. It is about designing and defining all aspects of doing business using APIs.