The Design of Everyday APIs
Arnaud Lauret
  • MEAP began February 2018
  • Publication in Summer 2018 (estimated)
  • ISBN 9781617295102
  • 400 pages (estimated)
  • printed in black & white
APIs are everywhere, giving developers an efficient way to interact with applications, services, and data. Well-designed APIs are a joy to use; poorly-designed APIs are cumbersome, confusing, and frustrating. The Design of Everyday APIs is a practical, example packed guide to crafting extraordinary APIs. Author Arnaud Lauret demonstrates fantastic design principles and techniques you can apply to both public and private APIs.
Table of Contents detailed table of contents

Part 1: API Design Fundamentals

1. What really is API Design

1.1. What is an API

1.1.1. Everyday APIs

1.1.2. An API is an interface for software

1.1.3. An API is a web interface for software

1.2. What really is an API

1.2.1. An API is also an interface for developers

1.2.2. An API is a screen over complexity

1.2.3. An API is a LEGO® brick connector

1.2.4. API definitions

1.3. Why the design of APIs is so important

1.3.1. More and more public and private APIs

1.3.2. Poor API design has terrible consequences

1.4. What really is learning API design

1.4.1. Learning API design solfeggio

1.4.2. Mastering all aspects of API design

1.5. What we have learned

2. Designing an API for its users

2.1. Designing everyday interfaces

2.1.1. Focusing on how things work is a terrible idea

2.1.2. Focusing on what users can do is a far better idea

2.2. Designing software’s interfaces

2.2.1. An API is a software’s control panel

2.2.2. Consumer’s vs provider’s design perspectives

2.3. Identifying an API’s goals

2.3.1. Identifying the whats and the hows

2.3.2. Identifying inputs and outputs

2.3.3. Identifying missing goals

2.3.4. Identifying all users

2.3.5. Using the API goals canvas

2.4. Beware the treacherous provider’s perspective

2.4.1. How data can influence API design

2.4.2. How code and business logic can influence API design

2.4.3. How software architecture can influence API design

2.4.4. How human organization can influence API design

2.4.5. Detecting the provider’s perspective in the API goals canvas

2.5. Summary

3. Designing a programming interface

4. Describing an API with an API description format

Part 2: Usability

5. Designing a simple API

6. Designing a predictable API

7. Designing an intelligible API

Part 3: Not beyond API design

8. Designing a secured API

9. Designing an evolvable API

10. Designing in consumer’s and provider’s contexts

11. Growing an API design

About the Technology

APIs are programming interfaces that allow applications and services to communicate over a local network or the Internet. Consuming and building APIs is essential for modern applications, whether they are based on SOAP, the current industry standard REST, or even more recent developments like gRPC and GraphQL. Other developers will use your APIs to interact with your software. It's your job to make sure they're clearly designed and easy to use.

About the book

The Design of Everyday APIs introduces you to the challenging and creative world of API design. In this experience-driven guide, you'll learn to think like an API designer, embracing effective practices for requirements gathering, blending business and technical goals, and adopting a consumer-first mindset. You'll master the lifecycle of API design, including the all-important secure-by-design approach. This book teaches principles that can be applied in any style of API. Most examples are illustrated using REST and the OpenAPI specification.

What's inside

  • Characteristics of a well-designed API
  • Explore the full API design lifecycle
  • Designing user-oriented APIs
  • Secure APIs by design
  • Evolving existing APIs
  • Validating your API designs

About the reader

Written for developers with minimal experience building and consuming APIs.

About the author

Arnaud Lauret is a software architect with 15 years of experience in the banking industry. He has spent a decade using, designing, and building APIs. He's known on the web as the API Handyman ( and is the creator of the API Stylebook (, a collection of resources for API designers.

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