APIs are at the core of modern software development. They tackle a basic challenge: how can we, expose the code to other developers to use and innovate with?
Building software in the modern world is very much like building with LEGO bricks. As a startup you have access to a vast set of APIs that expose services such as payments, communication, authorisation and authentication, and so forth. When building new software, your job is to use these APIs to compose your new product, reusing code that others built in order to save time and avoid reinventing the wheel.
Your API strategy can be the difference between the success and failure of your startup, and it can be the unique advantage that will drive business growth.
REST, gRPC, GraphQL, and more
An API paradigm defines the interface exposing backend data of a service to other applications.
When starting out with APIs, organizations do not always consider all the factors that will make an API successful. As a result, there isn’t enough room built in to add the features they want later on. This can also happen when the organization or product changes over time. Unfortunately, after there are developers using it, changing an API is difficult (if not impossible).
To save time, effort, and headaches—and to leave room for new and exciting features—it’s worthwhile to give some thought to protocols, patterns, and a few best practices before you get started. This will help you design an API that allows you to make the changes you want in the future.
Over the years, multiple API paradigms have emerged. REST, gRPC, GraphQL, WebHooks, and WebSockets are some of the most popular standards today. Invest in good API design. Pick the right API paradigm. Keep pushing the limit.