8 API Design Trends Architect Needs to Know

Daniel Foo
4 min readNov 18, 2023

API is the main form of interaction for complex services in application development. Let’s take a look at the API Design Trends.

API in Serverless Architecture

In the realm of modern cloud computing, the integration of APIs within a Serverless architecture has redefined how applications are developed and deployed.

Serverless computing allows developers to focus solely on code execution, leaving infrastructure management to the cloud provider. APIs in a Serverless environment are designed to be event-driven, responding dynamically to triggers without the need for continuous server provisioning.

A prime example is AWS Lambda, a serverless computing service that enables seamless API integration, allowing developers to build scalable and cost-effective applications without the overhead of traditional server management. The serverless approach promotes rapid development cycles, automatic scaling, and efficient resource utilization.

API Management

As the demand for interconnected services rises, effective API management becomes a linchpin for organizations seeking to streamline their digital infrastructure.

API management platforms like Apigee by Google Cloud offer a comprehensive suite of tools to create, manage, and analyze APIs throughout their lifecycle. Apigee, for instance, facilitates version control, access management, and analytics, providing a centralized hub for developers and administrators to monitor and optimize API performance.

Robust management not only ensures the reliability and security of APIs but also enhances developer collaboration and accelerates time-to-market by offering a unified interface for API design and monitoring.

API-as-a-Product

Shifting the perspective on APIs from mere technical components to strategic products has become a cornerstone for businesses aiming to thrive in the digital landscape.

Treating APIs as products involves considerations beyond functionality, focusing on user experience, documentation, and developer support. Stripe, a leading online payment platform, exemplifies this approach by providing APIs that are not only powerful but also developer-friendly. They offer comprehensive documentation, client libraries in various programming languages, and sandbox environments, turning their APIs into products that seamlessly integrate with the workflows of developers and businesses alike.

This mindset aligns API development with broader business objectives, encouraging innovation and fostering external partnerships through accessible and marketable API offerings.

API Analytics

In the data-driven age, API analytics emerges as a crucial component for organizations aiming to understand, optimize, and derive actionable insights from their API usage.

Tools like Google Cloud’s API Gateway and Apigee Analytics provide comprehensive analytics capabilities, allowing businesses to monitor API traffic, detect anomalies, and gain insights into user behavior. These tools empower organizations to make data-driven decisions, optimize API performance, and enhance the overall user experience.

By leveraging analytics, businesses can stay ahead of evolving trends, proactively address potential issues, and align their API strategies with changing market demands.

API Security

With the increasing reliance on APIs for data exchange, robust security measures are imperative to safeguard sensitive information. OAuth 2.0 stands out as a widely adopted authorization framework that enhances API security.

Utilized by platforms like Auth0, OAuth 2.0 provides a standardized way for applications to secure access to APIs. Auth0, as an identity management platform, incorporates OAuth 2.0 to enable secure authentication and authorization, ensuring that only authorized parties access protected resources.

Additionally, tools like API security gateways, exemplified by solutions like WSO2 API Manager, offer a comprehensive set of security features, including threat protection, encryption, and access control, to fortify APIs against potential vulnerabilities.

Open API

Embracing the concept of Open API (formerly Swagger) has become a best practice for creating standardized and accessible APIs. The Swagger Editor, part of the Swagger tooling, allows developers to design, document, and test APIs using the OpenAPI Specification.

The OpenAPI Specification serves as a machine-readable contract for RESTful APIs, promoting consistency and simplifying the integration process. Tools like Swagger Codegen further automate the generation of client libraries and server stubs based on the OpenAPI Specification, fostering interoperability and reducing development effort.

By adopting Open API, organizations contribute to a more transparent and collaborative API ecosystem, enhancing discoverability and easing the onboarding process for developers.

Hybrid Sync/Async API

Acknowledging the diverse nature of data processing, the hybrid sync/async API approach combines the strengths of synchronous and asynchronous communication.

AWS API Gateway, as part of the broader AWS ecosystem, allows developers to design APIs that support both synchronous and asynchronous requests. This flexibility is crucial for applications with varied processing needs. Synchronous calls cater to real-time interactions, ensuring immediate responsiveness, while asynchronous processes handle time-intensive tasks, optimizing resource utilization.

AWS Step Functions further exemplify this hybrid model, allowing developers to orchestrate workflows that seamlessly integrate synchronous and asynchronous steps, offering a versatile solution for a wide range of application scenarios.

Automating API Standards, Governance, and Control

Finally, in the quest for consistency, reliability, and compliance in API design, automation plays a pivotal role. Tools like Postman not only streamline API development and testing but also facilitate automated checks for adherence to standards and governance policies.

Postman’s monitoring capabilities allow teams to automate the validation of APIs against predefined standards, ensuring that development practices align with organizational guidelines. Additionally, continuous integration and delivery (CI/CD) tools like Jenkins and GitLab CI automate the deployment of APIs, providing a seamless way to enforce version control and governance policies throughout the development lifecycle.

By automating API standards, governance, and control, organizations enhance efficiency, reduce manual errors, and accelerate the delivery of high-quality APIs to meet the demands of the rapidly evolving digital landscape.

Hope these 8 API development trend will guide your API development moving forward to build more robust APIs.

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Daniel Foo

Director of Engineering at MoneyLion | MBA | Certified Scrum Master | Microsoft Certified Solution Expert