In January I started taking a closer look at the world of API design, by reviewing the top movers in the space, Swagger from Wordnik, API Blueprint from Apiary, and RAML from Mulesoft. My goal was to quantity the world of API design, and help me understand where it might be going, or where there are opportunities for new tools and services.
My intention is to write a white paper on API Design, but haven’t reached this point, with the crazy amount of events and travel I’ve had in the last couple months. Looking back, at where I left off in my research, the major difference between providers was that Swagger was JSON, and didn't have all the tooling that was available with API Blueprint and RAML.
Fast forward 60 days, and I find myself at Gluecon, hanging out with Tony Tam of Reverb, creator of Swagger. On the last day of the conference,Tony shows me the new Swagger editor, with a new focus on YAML, as well as JSON Swagger definitions. With one release Tony addresses any gap in the space, leveling the API design playing field between API Blueprint, Swagger, and RAML.
While there are many differences between each providers, which you can see in my reposting of Ole Lensmar of SmartBear explored in his talk at #APIStrat Amsterdam with how they model REST, and what is behind the name, each of these top API design solutions will get you there, it just depends on your preferences.
60 days ago I would say that RAML and API Blueprint had a leg up on Swagger because of markdown / YAML focus, and with the amount of tooling they had. With one release Swagger has closed the gap, and with the traction they have amongst developers with a first mover advantage, this could put them squarely in the lead for adoption.
I’m predicting I’ll have more time this month to finish up my API design research, and produce the first draft of the white paper. API design is proving to one of the most talked about areas of the API sector in 2014, and one I’m enjoying tracking on.