Published on February 25, 2014
5 Ways to Build Better Web APIs in Ruby
1. Select the right API framework and gems
Rails isn't always the right answer
Not all frameworks are == Ramaze Scorched Rails Sinatra NYNY Nancy Rambutan Brooklyn Rack::Response Hobbit Cuba Rack 0 2000 4000 6000 8000 Requests/sec (Higher is better) 10000
Neither are ORMs… Sequel Datamapper AR 3.2 new(hash) new() Hash Class 0 2 4 6 8
Select a Serializer Select a gem or approach that can build JSON, XML, and (perhaps) any future format as well. (I like Roar + Representable)
Pro Tip: Select your frameworks and gems based on your actual needs (not what someone else says)
2. Prototype Your API
Ways to Prototype Static files – manual response for GET only Stubbed controllers – works for all request types Heroku Dataclips – great for a quick way to build SQL-to-JSON for GET requests
3. Acceptance test your APIs
TDD APIs FTW! Acceptance tests will ensure you write better APIs by mimicking how developers will consume your API
What should you use? RSpec, Cucumber, ??? One is not better than another Use a testing framework so a failure should break your build and report on what failed
4. Select the right API tools
Examples of API Tools Exploration: POSTman Chrome Plugin Documentation: RAML, Runscope, APIDesigner Debugging: RunScope, SOAPUI Auth/token and portal mgmt: Layer 7, Apigee, Mashery, 3Scale, Stormpath and many others…
5. Improve the developer experience
Rails trained us to think CRUD
Stop painting your APIs with CRUD to solve problems
Take an outside-in design What is the problem? How does the world view the problem? How does your API solve their problem?
Document your API Build examples for quick wins Speak in their terms
Thank you. firstname.lastname@example.org @launchany http://bit.ly/better-ruby-apis
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