How to Optimize an API

Optimization can mean a lot of things like simplifying a process, reducing data and even speeding up response time.

An API often has three different ways we can optimize it.

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Sorting in a REST API

Sorting is determining the order of items when a list of items is returned from a particular endpoint. The best practice is to really keep things simple and consistent.

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Date and DateTime Handling in APIs

Application Programming Interfaces and dates are just as difficult.

Timezone issues crop up because dates and datetimes are just strings in JSON, there’s nothing to necessarily say that this is a date in this format.

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Is SOAP dead?

SOAP and XML based Web Services aren’t dead yet. I don’t think they will be for quite a while because they are very common in large enterprises (government, banks, telecommunications, etc).

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API as a Product Business Models

Often what happens is a company decides to build a new mobile app which shouldn’t directly communicate with the database. So the company builds an API for the mobile apps to communicate with the database that also does some calculations (business logic) and validations (business rules).

Over time, the business realizes that they could also potentially sell access to the API or allow their customers to directly connect with it and finally have partners launch apps in different verticals.

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How to get real ROI out of your APIs

Producing an API shouldn’t just be an IT only concern. Building an API could help sales, finance, marketing or even customer support. It’s common for it to start as an IT only matter and end up impacting the entire company.

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Designing APIs by Contract

Designing by software is a contract – like a legal or business contract. When we design software by contract it means we are designing against a specific specification for each software component.

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Is the REST API dead?

The REST API will be alive for many years to come because many companies set up integrations and forget about them until there’s a problem. It is still one of the dominant types of application integrations: REST API, SOAP, and more recently GraphQL.

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What is HATEOAS?

HATEOAS stands for Hypertext As The Engine of Application State. The theory is that by embedding enough information in our API responses it will be easier to use the API without needing to consult documentation.

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