Saturday 29 April 2023

What is the difference between API-first, design-first and code-first APIs?

What does it mean to follow the API-first approach? It means that APIs are first-class citizens that can be products the company offers its customers; they are critical business assets.

What is the API design-first approach? It means working closely with the client, product, architecture, testing and development teams to design the services available in the API and the data format before actually starting to code them.

It contrasts with code-first APIs, where you dive straight into coding and creating the API without any upfront specifications. The API schema can be defined in a format like OpenAPI for HTTP APIs, Protobuf for gRPC or AsyncAPI for RabbitMQ, Kafka and other asynchronous systems.

The API design-first approach is proven to parallelise teamwork and get products to customers much faster, which is still relevant. Design-first fits into the API-first approach adopted by companies that treat APIs as first-class citizens critical to their business success. 

Difference between API-first, design-first and code-first APIs

We can help you with derisking your API-first and design-first API initiatives. Reach out to us and talk with our development and QA experts.

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