Intro to API documentation

By Tom Johnson / @tomjohnson

Slides available at

APIs allow systems to interact

Native library APIs versus Web APIs

Types of APIs

  • Native library APIs (Java, C++, Android, JavaScript)
  • SOAP APIs (Simple Object Access Protocol)
  • RPC APIs (Remote Procedure Call)
  • REST APIs (Representational State Transfer)
  • GraphQL APIs (Graph Query Language)
  • IoT APIs (Internet of Things) APIs
  • Voice Assistant APIs (e.g., Alexa)

API Example: Flight booking sites

API example: Make in-app purchases

Web API = requests and responses

The web also follows REST

Most popular APIs

REST API growth phenomenal

Web is an API services mashup

From single systems to multiple

API doc importance is high

Doc is UI for APIs

Most companies new to API dev

API doc job market is hot

Current/future trends

Activity 1a: Identify your goals