The Integration blog covers the latest in product updates, best practices, customer stories, and more.

  • October 18, 2017

Promote Standards to Create Great APIs

Robert Wunderlich
Product Strategy Director


When I moved from Development to Product Management, one of my first assignments was to create tools that helped developers build SOA services following prescribed patterns. Simply put, we had a "best practice" and we wanted to help developers leverage it easily and repeatedly. My main motivation was to lift the burden of compliance through automation. I still believe that automation promotes compliance.

Fast-forward to the present with microservices, and APIs, we see the need for a design-first approach with standards is even more critical than ever. This was one of the many reasons I was excited when Oracle acquired Apiary because I knew that Apiary enables teams to create great APIs.

A great example of this is presented in Creating the New: Adidas APIs from the Nordic APIs 2017 platform summit that took place in Stockholm, Sweden on October 11th of this year. Oldrich Novak from Adidas, and Zdenek "Z" Nemec from GoodAPI gave a great presentation about implementing a well defined approach to APIs.

I'd like to highlight some of the points from their session, but I really do suggest you find the time to watch it for yourself to learn even more.

  • Adidas suffered a lack of visibility and governance resulting in a lack of consistency which caused them to have APIs that were hard to control and re-use.

  • Adidas had to approach the problem from three key areas, People, Process and Platform.

  • A problem like this required more than just a tool, or even some good advice, it was the combination of ApiaryGoodAPI and Adidas' commitment to organize that resulted in their success.

  • Zdenek was instrumental in guiding Adidas to maturity with APIs.

  • Adidas uses Oracle Apiary to design, document, guide and ensure compliance.

  • Oracle Apiary not only provides governance but the visibility supports re-use

  • Oracle Apiary is open to any API Platform to promote the creation of great APIs even on other platforms.

  • Design-first: The API Description, not the implementation, is the source of truth. Using the automated tools of Apiary such as Dredd, with their CI/CD, they are able to maintain compliance with their API Descriptions

  • Ideally APIs should achieve level 3 the Richardson Maturity Model to maintain robustness and true loose coupling of your clients

There is so much more from this presentation that again I recommend you take some time to review it. I think one of the best quotes (a bit paraphrased) is from "Z" stating "We don't really want to force but we want to promote good standards". As a former developer, I think this mindset will achieve more successful adoption of standards.

Leveraging Apiary, can help any organization establish great practices that are easy for developers to adopt. Great products are made by great people, armed with a winning strategy and design first approach. If you need an expert guide, I suggest you check out GoodAPI and talk with "Z".

Of course anything stated above are my opinions alone and does not necessarily represent Oracle CorporationAdidas, or GoodAPI.

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