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Survey of API doc sites

Last updated: Jun 06, 2020

Rather than approach the topic of publishing prescriptively, let’s begin with some concrete examples and move towards the formulation of general principles. The following are more than 100 openly accessible REST APIs that you can browse as a way to look at patterns and examples. You can find many more APIs by browsing

100+ API doc sites

Browse a few of these documentation sites to get a sense of the variety, but also try to identify common patterns. In this list, I include not only impressively designed docs but also docs that look like they were created by a department intern just learning HTML. The variety in the list demonstrates the many options for publishing tools and approaches, as well as terminology. It seems that almost everyone does their API docs their own way, with their own site, branding, organization, and style.

  1. Shopgate API docs
  2. Google Places API docs
  3. Twitter API docs
  4. Flickr API docs
  5. Facebook’s Graph API docs
  6. Youtube API docs
  7. eBay API docs
  8. Amazon EC2 API docs
  9. Twilio API docs
  10. API docs
  11. Bing Maps docs
  12. Web Service docs
  13. Google Cloud API docs
  14. Foursquare Places API docs
  15. Walmart API docs
  16. Dropbox API docs
  17. Splunk API docs
  18. Revit API docs
  19. Docusign API docs
  20. Geonames docs
  21. Adsense API docs
  22. Box API docs
  23. Amazon API docs
  24. Linkedin REST API docs
  25. Instagram API docs
  26. Zomato API docs
  27. Yahoo Social API docs
  28. Google Analytics Management API docs
  29. Yelp API docs
  30. Lyft API docs
  31. Facebook API docs
  32. Eventful API docs
  33. Concur API docs
  34. Paypal API docs
  35. Bitly API docs
  36. Callfire API docs
  37. Reddit API docs
  38. Netvibes API docs
  39. Rhapsody API docs
  40. Donors Choose docs
  41. Sendgrid API docs
  42. Photobucket API docs
  43. Mailchimp docs
  44. Basecamp API docs
  45. Smugmug API docs
  46. NYTimes API docs
  47. USPS API docs
  48. NWS API docs
  49. Evernote API docs
  50. Stripe API docs
  51. Parse API docs
  52. Opensecrets API docs
  53. CNN API docs
  54. CTA Train Tracker API
  55. Amazon API docs
  56. Revit API docs
  57. Citygrid API docs
  58. Mapbox API docs
  59. Groupon API docs
  60. AddThis Data API docs
  61. Yahoo Weather API docs
  62. Glassdoor Jobs API docs
  63. Crunchbase API docs
  64. Zendesk API docs
  65. Validic API docs
  66. Ninja Blocks API docs
  67. Pushover API docs
  68. Pusher Client API docs
  69. Pingdom API docs
  70. Daily Mile API docs
  71. Jive docs
  72. IBM Watson docs
  73. HipChat API docs
  74. Stores API docs
  75. Alchemy API docs
  76. Indivo API 2.0 docs
  77. Socrata API docs
  78. Github API docs
  79. Mailgun API docs
  80. RiotGames API docs
  81. Basecamp API docs
  82. ESPN API docs
  83. Snap API docs
  84. SwiftType API docs
  85. Snipcart API docs
  86. VHX API docs
  87. Polldaddy API docs
  88. Gumroad API docs
  89. Formstack API docs
  90. Livefyre API docs
  91. Salesforce Chatter RESt API docs
  92. The Movie Database API docs
  93. Free Music Archive API docs
  94. docs
  95. CouchDB docs
  96. Smart Home API (Amazon Alexa) docs
  97. Coinbase docs
  98. Shopify API docs
  99. docs
  100. Trip Advisor docs
  101. Pinterest docs
  102. Uber docs
  103. Spotify API
  104. Trello API
  105. Yext API
  106. Threat Stack API docs
  107. Strava API
  108. Plaid API
  109. Paymill API
  110. Rundown API
  111. Zype API
  112. Yummyly API
  113. Edamam Food APIs
  114. Veracode API
  115. SAP
  116. Sunbird API
  117. Dwolla API A directory of API doc sites on the open web

For a directory of API documentation sites on the open web, see the docs. You can browse thousands of web API docs in a variety of categories.

Programmable web directory

Note that Programmableweb lists only open web APIs, meaning APIs that you can access on the web (which also means it’s usually a REST API). They don’t list the countless internal, firewalled APIs that many companies provide at a cost to paying customers. There are many more thousands of private APIs out there that most of us will never know about.

Activity: Look for common patterns in API doc sites

In this activity, identify common patterns in API documentation sites.

  1. Go the list of 100+ API documentation sites.
  2. Select about three different APIs (choose any of those listed on the page).
  3. Look for several patterns or commonalities among the API doc sites. For example, you might look for any of the following patterns:

    • Structure and templates
    • Seamless branding (between docs and the marketing site)
    • Abundant code samples and syntax highlighting
    • Lengthy pages
    • API Interactivity (such as an API Explorer)
    • Docs as code tooling
  4. Note any non-patterns, such as the following:

    • PDF
    • Translation
    • Video tutorials
    • Commenting features
    • Multiple outputs by role
  5. Make some notes in an API log or journal (or share them in the comments below).

In the next section, we’ll look at Design patterns with API doc sites. From your notes, look to see if the patterns I highlight match the ones you observed in the API doc sites you analyzed.

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