What is API Design?
January 17, 2020

What Is API Design?

API Lifecycle Management

API design is critical to API success. And when your API design excels, your APIs can unlock new business channels, create value, and ignite a digital transformation

In this blog post, we’ll cover the fundamentals of API design, which is one of the key API basics you need to know. We'll also share how the Akana API management platform simplifies the process. By the end of this blog, you'll be ready to design APIs that are easy to consume, built the right way, and running as they should be.

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What Is API Design?

API design is the process of creating application programming interfaces (APIs). APIs are designed to connect disparate technologies by exposing application functionality and exposing data, so consumers and developers can use APIs. Good API design starts early. 

How you design APIs has an important impact on how they are used by consumers and developers. When APIs are designed well, users don't need to understand the complexity of of the underlying technology. They can simply leverage the APIs to connect applications. 

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API Design Considerations

You may have many API design considerations. Here are some of the top questions you may ask during the API design process:

  • How will you design your API?
  • Are any internal rulebooks available to help guide your design?
  • Will you design your API interface first, and then build the backend resources to connect to?
  • Or do you want to publish an existing resource as an API product?
  • Does it account for API testing, such as Swagger API testing and Swagger editor?

Enterprise API Management, Defined

APIs play an important role in digital transformation. That's why it's critical that you design APIs well. In this white paper — Enterprise API Management, Defined — you'll learn how to develop an enterprise API management strategy. 

📕 Get the White Paper

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API Design Principles and Best Practices

Ready to get started designing APIs? 

Follow these API design principles and best practices:

  • Make the API easy to understand. Create your API with a meaningful name and useful description.
  • Consider API integration. Ensure that your API is set up to integrate disparate applications properly. 
  • Promote your API. Make sure that developers and consumers can find and use it, typically in an API portal

When you choose the right API management platform, it's easy to follow API design principles and best practices. That platform is Akana — the easiest way to create, secure, publish, and promote APIs to your community. 

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Top API Design Features in Akana

Akana provides the top API design features you need to build your APIs the right way.

Developer Portal

APIs are all about the user (whether the user is a consumer or developer). One key to providing a good user experience is an intuitive developer portal that allows API developers to design, build, and document well-constructed APIs.

The Akana API management platform provides flexibility and productivity for API designers. With Akana, it's easy to create simple, secure APIs in the descriptor language of your choice.

Design APIs From Scratch — Or Import Them

Design and document APIs with a powerful, easy-to-use interactive graphical editor in Akana. You can author APIs from scratch. Or you can view and edit an imported API from Swagger, RAML, WADL, and WSDL. The designer also supports markdown to add rich documentation.

Plus, the Akana platform allows your consumers and developers to export your API definition in whatever descriptor language they choose.

Assign Operations to Maximize Your Design

In each operation, you can set up the following: 


  • Path.
  • HTTP verb.
  • Operation ID (a unique ID for the operation, user-defined).
  • A brief summary.
  • A longer description, if desired.

Technical Details

One or more parameters, including:

  • Name.
  • Description.
  • Type.
  • Whether required / if not required, a default value, used if the user doesn't specify a value.
  • Whether empty values are allowed.
  • Data type.
  • Format.
  • Minimum length.
  • Maximum length.
  • One or more response types, including:
    • HTTP code.
    • Description.
    • Data Type: string, number, Boolean, integer, or array.
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Design APIs With Akana

Now that you have a better understanding of what API design is and how it is performed in the Akana platform, give it a try yourself!

Sign up for a free 6-month trial with Akana and learn how to design, create, document, test, and secure an API.

Start Trial ▶️ WATCH A DEMO


👉 Become an Expert

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