api design best practices

RESTful API Design Best Practices

If you are reading this article, you are interested in creating your application with beautifully crafted API.  Even if this application or program is not an order for a company or a private person, you should pay special attention to make restful api design best practices. Here we will describe some of these practices and you will understand why we put special attention to it.

Words

Simple, but an important point of creating an application. The default structure is the table with simple words: PUT, POST and DELETE. Don`t use GET for the state changes. You also shouldn`t use plural nouns and single nouns together. The better variant is to use only plural nouns. It will be enough.

HATEOAS

What is it? A strange word written with Caps. But it`s an abbreviation. It means hypermedia as the engine of application state. Hypertext links help users to have better navigation through the application (if they want to skip a page or to move on, they could just tap on the word).

Paging

Use the limit of pages. The default limit number should be “20”.

HTTP status code

One of the most popular restful api design best practices. Probably all creators and founders are using it. According to the HTTP standard, there are 70 status codes to describe the return values. Of course, you don`t need to use each of these codes. Usually, people are using ten codes, not more. The most common codes:

  • 404 – Not Found
  • 403 – Forbidden
  • 422 – Unprocessable Entity. It should be used if the server cannot process the entity or if an imagine cannot be formatted.
  • 500 – Internal Server Error. In most cases developers shouldn`t admit this error.

Versioning

You should check the version number of your API, because any breaking change could crash the existing products or services using your APIs.

There are basic api development best practices that every user should know while working on application. Yes, they are not as simple as someone may think. However, if you will do everything correct and follow the instructions in guides, it will look easy. You must check all codes and phrases you are using in the lines. Of course, you can correct something, but it will be better to do everything with the first attempt. If you want to be a good developer, you should avoid stupid mistakes. It`s the main point.

We hope that this article will be interesting for you. If you don`t agree with something or want to add, leave a comment below.

Igor Grigorenko

Add comment