The application programming interface (API) is essential for all forms of software development, and that’s why you want flawless API implementation. But how do you do this with so many APIs in existence? And don’t you need vast knowledge to work with so many different APIs?
The good news is that you’ll only ever use a handful of APIs during your development endeavors. And no, there’s no need to know these intimately, as these change regularly or occasionally become deprecated. Though it never hurts to have relevant background knowledge and experience.
However, API implementation is something you need to do well and consistently. So we’re providing these few handy tips to help you with this matter below.
1. Check The Documentation Before API Implementation
The quality of documentation plays a crucial role in whether or not you should use an API. And that’s because poor documentation, or lack thereof, makes API implementation incredibly challenging. And in some cases, utterly impossible!
So, always check the documentation of an API to see that it’s clear, concise, and detailed enough. It should have enough information to help you implement it easily and quickly. Fortunately, most popular APIs, especially those developed by tech giants such as Apple, Google, and Microsoft, come with well-written documentation.
But things can get dicey when dealing with open-source APIs or those made by amateur developers. Another common problem with open-source projects is that documentation will suffer once a project loses steam. At least with those backed by large companies, their documentation will regularly get updated, so long as these APIs aren’t deprecated.
2. Verify The Stability Of The API Beforehand
Always check the version number, release notes, and reported issues of an API beforehand. Also, search developer forums to see if other developers have experienced issues with the API you’re about to implement. Contributors of these developer forums will often provide solutions to known problems.
While no API is perfect or bug-free, you’ll want to avoid any API that will break your app. And you’ll also want to use APIs that offer a certain degree of backward compatibility. After all, you don’t want to rewrite your entire app just to get it to work with the latest version of an API.
3. Easier Is Always Better
API implementation should never be too difficult. Your team simply shouldn’t waste valuable time trying to implement an API when they could be working on the features that add value to your app. Thus, your preferred APIs should offer ease of use and flexibility.
And implementation must be so easy that it makes sense to use a particular API in your other apps when necessary. Thus, you won’t waste company resources learning new APIs or having to undergo yet another onboarding process.
The Bottom Line
Every mobile app relies on several APIs to make it functional. And there’s an API for every use case, from drawing graphics on the screen to transferring data to the backend server. Therefore, API implementation is one of the most important tasks that mobile app developers can’t ignore. Contact NS804 to learn how we’ll help you develop phenomenal mobile apps the right way!