Last week’s “Building Great APIs” article covered two of John Musser and Adam Duvander’s 5 Key Elements of great APIs: providing value and having a business model. In this post, we’ll tackle the next topic:
- Make it simple, flexible, and easily adopted.
The three statements seem obvious until you begin to unpick what they mean–and they might even seem contradictory. Making an API simple seems like a noble goal but it can easily be thwarted by complex edge use cases, existing legacy code and a tendency on the part of some API designers to expose underlying data models in raw form. Flexibility often breeds complexity as the API becomes overloaded to meet many use cases. We’ll take each topic in turn and finish up with an all-important metric: TTFHW (Time To First Hello World).
Continue reading “Building great APIs, part II: Simplicity, flexibility, and TTFHW”