Agile development is highly iterative, and relies upon the rapid development of software and early feedback. These practices are well understood and practiced in mature application development teams.
The shift to an agile software development process has helped teams accelerate time to market, improve quality and reduce costs. With new technologies and processes that have hit the market, these same benefits can now be delivered to API development teams.
API definition on Agile teams
API definition formats, like OpenAPI Specification (formerly the Swagger Specification), have given API developers the ability to write a language-agnostic definition for their REST APIs. An API definition can be thought of a “contract” between the person/organization developing the API, and the consumers that integrate with it. A properly defined API helps eliminate the guess work that consumers often deal with when calling an API.
Defining your API with a formal API specification supports a contract-first approaches to API development, which focuses on designing the interface of your API and letting tooling generate documentation, code, and SDKs. In this approach, virtualization is key.
The importance of virtualization
Defining an API should be an iterative process. A developer will make tweaks based on how the API will actually behave when a client interacts with it. As a developer, the best way to truly understand how your API will behave, from an end-user perspective, is to create a fake version (or mock) of your API.
Utilizing a virtualization solution into your API development workflow, enables you to effectively preview how your API will behave in a given situation, solicit rapid feedback, and validate design decisions.
What does this look like in action?
Combining API definition with API virtualization allows development teams to rapidly specify and prototype, and even test their projects, all before writing any code. Putting this strategy into action requires having the right tools in place.
On August 31, we are bringing specialists from SmartBear and its partner Vanick, to show how companies are connecting the REST definition framework Swagger with SmartBear’s API virtualization solution, ServiceV. We’re offering two sessions of the Definition-Driven Development webinar on August 31, 10am and 4pm ET.
In this interactive and informative session, you’ll learn:
- The concept of definition-driven development
- Details about Swagger and SwaggerHub
- The secrets behind API virtualization, and SmartBear ServiceV
- Connecting definition and prototype to solicit rapid feedback and validation
- Definition-driven development in the API development lifecycle