Application Programming Interface (API) Design discusses best practises for creating libraries intended for general purpose or public use.

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212
votes
13answers
31k views

Should you write your back-end as an API?

I had a heated discussion today about our MVC application. We have a website written in MVC (ASP.NET), and it usually follows the pattern of do something in the view -> hit the controller -> ...
0
votes
0answers
13 views

Design pattern - update join table through REST API

I'm struggling with a REST API design concept. I have these classes: user: - first_name - last_name metadata_fields: - field_name user_metadata: - user_id - field_id - value - unique ...
0
votes
1answer
66 views

How to authenticate against an API?

In a enterprise distributed system, a user of a web portal can sign into one site, be redirected to a federation provider. Once they log in with, for example, a facebook account, that user is ...
2
votes
3answers
61 views

Recommended HTTP status code for “plan limit exceeded” response

I'm designing a REST API for a project where users are always on one of several "plans" - each plan defines some resource limits, such as the max number of users an account may have or the max number ...
10
votes
5answers
7k views

How best do you represent a bi-directional sync in a REST api?

Assuming a system where there's a Web Application with a resource, and a reference to a remote application with another similar resource, how do you represent a bi-directional sync action which ...
24
votes
3answers
1k views

RESTful API: HTTP verbs with shared or specific URLs?

While creating a RESTful API, should I use HTTP Verbs on the same URL (when it's possible) or should I create an specific URL per action? For example: GET /items # Read all items GET ...
2
votes
1answer
32 views

Status transitions with extra information in RESTful interfaces

How would you design a REST interface that triggers a status change of an object, but requires additional properties in that moment? For example, the deliverer of a package needs to change the status ...
5
votes
3answers
89 views

REST API: Resource Ownership

Let's say there are Users and Pets. Each Pet has a single User as its owner, and a globally unique id. Endpoints could be /users/1/pets/2 /pets/2 I feel like the first option could be unintuitive ...
1
vote
1answer
27 views

Combining simple and complex APIs in a web application?

We use C# MVC and Angularjs as the primary tools to develop our web applications. We've recently been discussing best practices, with an eye towards revising our development approaches into something ...
2
votes
0answers
39 views

How to handle complex calculated fields in an ORM

In our API we've got a few central datatypes which need to be "decorated" (so to speak) after retrieval from the database with calculated values. The database is accessed through an ORM which follows ...
32
votes
7answers
10k views

How do I convince my boss to use REST over SOAP? [duplicate]

We need to create an API to our system. How do I convince my boss that REST is a better option than SOAP (or XML-RPC)? I say REST is... easier to implement and maintain not much new to learn -- ...
2
votes
1answer
322 views

Merge two different API calls into One

I have two different apps in my django project. One is "comment" and an other one is "files". A comment might save some file attached to it. The current way of creating a comment with attachments is ...
2
votes
4answers
172 views

Should static parameters in an API be part of each method?

I am currently creating a library that is a wrapper for an online API. The obvious end goal is to make it as easy for others to use as possible. As such I am trying to determine the best approach when ...
3
votes
2answers
249 views

Web Services and code lists

Our team heavily discuss the issues how to handle code list in a web service definition. The design goal is to describe a provider API to query a system using various values. Some of them are catalogs ...
0
votes
1answer
46 views

Api for CMS And Mobile applications either separate or same

I would like to ask an architect based question What is more secure and most standard way to follow.For let's say a mobile application, Should the Api for mobile interaction with server be ...
1
vote
1answer
82 views

Correct approach for creating api contract

I need help regarding below: I am trying to design an API. For creating contracts below are the two approaches: Approach 1: public class MyController { public void MyAction1(Dictionary<string, ...
2
votes
2answers
39 views

WCF service with methods to fetch data

I'm planning on building a WCF service that will fetch data entities from a Sql Server database. And I'm currently struggling with best practices issues. The thing is that there's a few different ...
0
votes
1answer
66 views

API design for modular apps

Let's assume a web app made of independent modules: example.com/accounting example.com/employees example.com/admin Next step is adding an API which normally might end like this: ...
0
votes
0answers
19 views

Segmenting JSON API with subdomains

I am in the process of designing an API for a web service that I an building. The architectural style of the application is a coarse grained SOA. One thing I have thought to do was to break the api up ...
2
votes
5answers
102 views

Are there any downsides for the same API to perform two slightly different functions?

Take for example the following two GET requests with slightly different arguments: ../user/login_at which returns the last login date of the user, and ...
0
votes
0answers
23 views

API Architecture

I have a Laravel web application. Imagine if our company has many customers. Each customer has one or more addresses. Each Address can have multiple fences and each fence has points which define ...
1
vote
1answer
67 views

Design consideration on JSON schema for an API

I have an API endpoint that retrieve data from 3 SQL tables on the server-side. At the moment, I do a SELECT with joins, consolidate/reorganize the selected data based on a JSON schema, and then send ...
2
votes
3answers
157 views

How do I recreate this Access Control/Group/ whatever methodology in OO/MVC

I am looking at trying to rewrite an application that is mostly procedural to an MVC/OO approach in order to teach myself a deeper understanding of both. BUT, I am having some conceptual issues with ...
1
vote
1answer
89 views

REST - Recommendation route: POST or GET?

I'm building an api route which will pull data from our server. This data is sorted in an arbitrary (changing and unknown to the client manner), and will never return the same data more than once. ...
7
votes
4answers
1k views

Best Practice: Should error messages be handled by the API or by the App?

I am designing an application that interacts with a RESTful API. When returning error messages like Unable to sign up user Should the error message be generated by the app? or by the API? I am ...
3
votes
1answer
106 views

null vs missing key in REST API Response [closed]

Say in my application, some users give us their last name, and others do not. In a REST API response, which body is preferred: With a "null" value: {"firstName": "Bob", "lastName": null} Or just ...
0
votes
2answers
82 views

How should an API or server respond when a device connects with a different account than it is bound to?

In my system we have users accounts and user devices. Rules: A user can have only one user account. Each user can have many devices. A device can be bound to only one user account. Upon initial ...
0
votes
1answer
39 views

API authentication with a single ID

A typical API authentication usually rely on a pair of API ID + SECRET, my question is: if the API ID is unique and randomly generated and is considered strong enough (e.g. SHA512), why a SECRET is ...
1
vote
2answers
114 views

When writing a library or an API, when should and when shouldn't I validate or automatically correct errors in data provided by another developer?

I have a fairly good understanding of when data validation should and shouldn't exist when it comes when writing an application that is only dealt with by an end-user, and all the different tiers of ...
6
votes
3answers
122 views

REST API design: POST (implicit userId) vs PUT (explicit userId)

For some routes on an API, like GET /news, one would asume the user only wants news that pertains to them, so the userId is implicitly taken from authentication info. However, some of the routes on ...
2
votes
2answers
150 views

REST API Structure to request multiple items

I have a REST API that looks something like the below where a person can belong to an organisation (but doesn't have to) and a person has many items. The items may also belong to the organisation ...
1
vote
0answers
150 views

Web Api design - Using Nouns vs verbs

I have this design situation at work. We have a internal Web-Api application and a Asp.Net Web forms application(UI). The web-application is calling Web-Api to update a Contractor. public Class ...
2
votes
1answer
83 views

How should pagination allowing links to arbitrary pages be handled in a RESTful API?

How should a RESTful API handle pagination in the situation where a client may want the ability to jump to arbitrary pages? Let's assume we are using the Link header in the way the GitHub API does: ...
2
votes
2answers
147 views

Technique to synchronize error codes in a same-project-API

In the project I am working right now, we have some python and some C# code. At some point, I call from python a subprocess which starts a C# executable. This C# code returns an error code, which has ...
5
votes
2answers
85 views

Partitioning REST API resources into areas based on business domains

In a major application REST API that covers several related domains, does it make more sense to split resources into 'areas' based on the business domain they belong to or is it better to to maintain ...
1
vote
2answers
147 views

WebAPI authorisation for other apps

I would like to create a WebAPI application that can serve some of my web sites. My goal is to abstract some common task such as email sending, address resolving etc by providing an API to all of my ...
1
vote
2answers
88 views

API for expanation of complicated calculation or business rules?

In online shops there are areas with complicated rules. For example is a product visible in the product catalog is a product sold out what is the price for the product (Discounts, Promotions, ...) ...
0
votes
1answer
41 views

JSON schema design for variable response

I am drafting a JSON schema for an API. One of the responses aims to show all the updates to different properties of an given entity. The number of updates may vary from one response to another. For ...
8
votes
6answers
747 views

Many small requests vs. few large requests (API Design)

I'm currently working on a project with an organization as follows: Client - Gets data from the main server via REST api. Server - Requests data from various other servers via third-party APIs ...
0
votes
2answers
104 views

Idiomatic C API with regards to pointers

I am trying to get a better understanding of how one would structure an API in C. I create a struct Person I have a init function that sets data on that struct I have multiple "helper" functions ...
1
vote
1answer
66 views

REST API, nested routes without providing identifiers at every nested level

Obviously a RESTful API could contain base routes such as: api/competitions api/competitions/{id} api/teams api/teams/{id} api/players api/players/{id} And nested routes such as: ...
6
votes
1answer
149 views

RESTfully Returning Diagnostics Data With Response

In a REST API I am working with, under certain circumstances (ex/ request originated in network) diagnostics data is returned with the response. Right now, a property is appended to the root object of ...
8
votes
3answers
5k views

Is it OK to return HTML from a JSON API?

On my current project I am responsible for the implementation of a service which involves the consumption of newly created RESTful APIs, documented as solely supporting JSON. The client consistently ...
7
votes
1answer
219 views

Should I build undo stack in model or its wrapper?

I am building an application (Python/PyQt). The first-order item will be a tree view/model with many helper functions to add new items, move them around in the tree, etc.. Then I will have a main ...
3
votes
5answers
713 views

Why is the hashCode method usage of HashSet not specified in the API?

I was trying to debug my code which uses a HashSet and searching through the SO, I found out that I needed to override the hashCode method as well. The strange part is, checking the related API, I did ...
3
votes
1answer
105 views

Is it bad to use POST only on an API?

I'm about to develop a new API for our website. Part of the design I've considered to use the POST and GET methods but after reading some security stuff I realise that GET is a bit less secure(i.e. ...
1
vote
3answers
69 views

Representing a “Belongs to” relationship in an API endpoint

Consider the following pseudo code models: class Post int Id string Title int CategoryId Category Category class Category int Id string Name Note that Post belongs to ...
16
votes
3answers
8k views

Is there a list of common usernames to reserve in a new system?

I need to reserve usernames in my new website. These generally fall into three categories 1) usernames no-one should have (eg: admin, user, service, help, root, etc) 2) names of super famous people ...
0
votes
0answers
30 views

API Design when modifying resource data based on user roles (access levels)

I'm trying to figure out the best (and most RESTful) way to handle user roles in regards to the data returned. For example, for a resource named user, we only show obfuscated_id to regular users and ...
19
votes
8answers
50k views

Why does java.util.ArrayList allow to add null?

I wonder why java.util.ArrayList allows to add null. Is there any case where I would want to add null to an ArrayList? I am asking this question because in a project we had a bug where some code was ...