Although some people consider APIs ancient, obscure technology, they are irreplaceable. In fact, today’s IT infrastructure is built on APIs – after all, they the backbone of modern Cloud infrastructure. In this article, we’re going to show you how Java APIs can help your development process.
What are Java APIs Anyway?
Since APIs are so common these days, most people assume that even a beginner will know what exactly they are. However, we shouldn’t really rely on osmosis. It only takes a second to explain what APIs are.
For starters, an API stands for “Application Programming Interface” and it’s a program that specifies how two software components interact with each other. You can also say that an API is there to manage a boundary between two systems.
By using APIs programmers allow two programs to “communicate with each other.” What we mean by that is that an API allows a certain app to use the features of another web. Without APIs, you wouldn’t be able to watch videos on certain apps (YouTube API) or know your location (Google Maps API).
So you see just how APIs are important for our lives these days. However, this still doesn’t explain just how you would use them to improve your apps.
Using a Java API to drive the development process of your app is an excellent way to structure your complete view of modern IT systems. Using a Java API definition from the beginning of the app development cycle will allow you to design a great technical artifact, which will be used up to the deployment phase. What’s more, it will beneficial for ongoing maintenance as well.
Of course, you need to differentiate between perspective and descriptive APIs first. The latter actually describes the way code works, while the first one describes how the code should work. Now, both of these styles can come handy at times. Generally, utilizing an API for code creation is perspective usage and utilizing it to output the API definition is a descriptive usage.
Getting Started With A Java API
Let’s say you’re building a system that deals with cars – including the construction, mechanics, parts, etc. You’ll probably start building your system by discussing certain requirements with the stakeholders. Afterward, you’ll start thinking about CarParts class.
Then you’ll probably how the app will manage the various car parts. Next, you’ll naturally arrive at requirements that will manage those car parts. Here’s an example of how the requirements phase will probably look:
- Your app has to create a number of car parts
- Users must be able to create, make, and list a part-type activity
- Users also must be able to list all of the active car part-types
As you can see, your app is starting to take shape. By utilizing a few Java APIs, you’ll soon be able to sketch out all of those services. All of those APIs combined will give you a clear picture of the architecture of your application.
How To Document Java APIs
Once you’re finished with the initial stage, you have to start capturing all of those APIs in regular language. Some of the more common API standards include RAML, OpenAPI, and API BluePrint. Whatever format of documenting you go with, you’ll easily find your way around it.
Nonetheless, the format you choose needs to be properly structured so it can be maintained in the long run. If you have any problems at this stage, you can easily find a handy API docs generator online. That will make your job significantly easier.
Final Thoughts On Java APIs
Needless to say, this not a complete guide by any stretch of the imagination. We just wanted to get you familiar with the basics of programming with Java APIs. Hopefully, this managed to show you the beauty of Java API programming and that it will motivate you to learn more about it.
We hope you enjoyed the article and that you found it helpful. As always if you have any additional questions, feel free to leave a comment in the comment section below.