Helpful API Developer Experience (DX) Tools Posted in Strategy Vyom Srivastava March 28, 2023 Developer experience (DX) is essential for developers who want to create high-quality APIs that are scalable, secure, and easy to use. And many DX tools provide developers with a user-friendly interface to design, build, test, document, and manage APIs quickly and easily. By using these tools, engineers can accelerate the API development process, reduce errors, and improve the overall quality of an API. The API DX tools market has experienced significant growth in recent years. Many vendors now offer a wide range of tools that cater to different aspects of the API development process. These tools cover a variety of features, such as automated testing, code generation, version control, and collaboration tools. In this article, we will highlight a handful of API developer experience tools used by developers worldwide. API Documentation Generators Swagger As an API developer, Swagger can be an essential tool in your toolkit for designing, building, and documenting RESTful APIs. With Swagger, you can easily create an OpenAPI specification that describes your API’s endpoints, parameters, responses, and other details in a structured way. This specification can then generate a visual user interface (Swagger UI) that makes it easy for developers to understand how to use your API. It also provides code generators for various programming languages, which can speed up your development process by generating client code that conforms to your API specification. With its ease of use, support for multiple programming languages, and integration with other tools and frameworks, Swagger has become popular for API developers who want to create high-quality, well-documented APIs. SwaggerHub SwaggerHub is one of the best API documentation generators on offer. The tool generates a three-pane structure and simplifies the process of API documentation. It allows you to auto-generate API docs and even client SDKs. The UI is easy to use and can be easily connected with third-party apps like Bitbucket. ReDoc ReDoc is another helpful open-source API documentation generator. Similar to SwaggerHub, it also creates a three-pane structure with API routes on the left pane, method descriptions in the center, and requests and responses with code examples in the right pane. It supports the popular OpenAPI Specification and can be easily customized with different themes. ReadMe ReadMe is a documentation platform that helps developers create API documentation that is easy to read and understand. It can be used to offer various features, such as API reference guides, tutorials, and code samples, which help developers get started with APIs quickly. Additionally, ReadMe provides multiple customization options, making it easier to create documentation that meets the specific needs of developers. Stoplight Stoplight is another API documentation tool that you can use as a service. It not only allows you to document your APIs, but provides mocking, design, development, and collaboration features. In terms of design and user-friendliness, Stoplight gets full marks as it’s very flexible and customizable. It can easily connect with Git providers like Bitbucket, Gitlab, or Github. API Developer Portal Apiable Apiable is a low-code tool that you can use to connect multiple APIs and publish them as products. You can use your APIs, third-party APIs, or both of them together without the need to write a single line of code. You can also seamlessly connect with Amazon API Gateway, making the API portal transition much easier. Apimatic Apimatic is another low-code tool that provides the functionality of the API developer portal. You can easily generate language-specific code and SDK using this tool. It also acts as an API testing and playground tool where you can authenticate with the API and make different requests to the API. Within the tool, you can generate SDKs for multiple programming languages and generate sample code live on the portal. MuleSoft MuleSoft is an API integration platform that helps developers build, manage, and scale APIs. It offers various features such as API management, integration, and analytics, which help to manage the entire API lifecycle. MuleSoft provides a user-friendly interface that enables developers to easily configure and manage APIs. Additionally, MuleSoft offers various integration options with other platforms, making it easier to integrate with existing systems. API Playgrounds AsyncAPI Studio AsyncAPI Studio is another live AsyncAPI specification generator that you can use to validate and generate AsyncAPI specs. The UI is very user-friendly and allows you to live-preview your AsyncAPI specs with the option of HTML viewer. It also has a block viewer that allows you to see the block-level dependencies and connections between different modules. GraphiQL GraphiQL is an open-source reference implementation of your GraphQL codebase. You can use this tool to test your GraphQL APIs and validate all the API endpoints. As of March 2023, this tool has about 14.7K stars on Github and is one of the most popular GraphQL testing tools and playgrounds. It has features like syntax highlighting, auto-complete, etc. API Testing Tools SoapUI SoapUI is a widely-used tool for API developers that helps with the testing and debugging of SOAP and REST APIs. It is an open-source tool developed by SmartBear Software and is available in both free and paid versions. With SoapUI, API developers can create, execute and automate API test cases, making identifying and fixing issues easier before deploying the API to production. SoapUI provides a user-friendly interface for API testing and allows developers to easily define test scenarios and assertions for verifying API responses. It also supports a variety of authentication methods and integrates with other tools and frameworks, such as Jenkins and JIRA. Postman Postman is a popular API development tool that enables developers to test and debug APIs. It offers a user-friendly interface that allows developers to easily create, test, and manage APIs. Postman supports various features such as automated testing, mocking, and documentation, which helps to simplify the API development process. Additionally, Postman allows for team collaboration and version control, making it easier for developers to collaborate on API development projects. Pactflow Pactflow is a different API testing tool that allows you to test and scale contract testing for distributed system APIs. It also lets you collaborate and has a role-based permission system enabling different users to manage and test different APIs based on permissions. It also supports event-driven APIs and has 12+ programming languages for code generation. APIFuzzer APIFuzzer reads the API description and fuzzes the API data to validate if the API performs as expected or not. It can easily parse the API definition from local files or even from a remote URL from JSON or YAML files. This tool can be used to fuzz data like request body, query params, and even request headers. API Management Tools Kong Kong is an API gateway and management platform that helps developers manage API traffic and secure APIs. It provides a range of features, including traffic management, security, monitoring, and analytics. Kong can be used as a standalone API gateway, or it can be integrated with other tools and frameworks to create a complete API management solution. One of the key benefits of Kong is its flexibility and extensibility, which allows developers to customize and extend the platform to meet their specific needs. Kong supports a wide range of protocols and formats, including HTTP, REST, GraphQL, and WebSockets, and it can be deployed on-premise or in the cloud. Apigee X Apigee X is a cloud-native API management platform that provides developers with a range of tools to build, secure, and scale APIs. It enables API developers to create and publish APIs, while also providing features such as traffic management, security, and analytics. With Apigee X, developers can design APIs using a variety of protocols and data formats and can use the platform’s built-in API documentation feature to generate interactive documentation for their APIs. Additionally, Apigee X includes a range of features to help developers monitor the performance of their APIs, including real-time analytics and customizable dashboards. Apigee Apigee is a comprehensive API management platform that provides a wide range of tools and features to help developers build, manage, and scale APIs. It offers features such as analytics, security, and developer portals, which help to manage the entire API lifecycle. Apigee provides a user-friendly interface that enables developers to design, build, and test APIs easily. Additionally, Apigee offers various integration options with other platforms, making it easier to integrate with existing systems. Final Words By leveraging API developer experience tools, organizations can ensure that their APIs are reliable, scalable, and secure. This can lead to improved customer satisfaction, increased revenue, and reduced costs associated with API maintenance. In conclusion, API developer experience tools are essential for organizations that want to develop high-quality APIs quickly and efficiently. With the right tools in place, developers can focus on creating value for their customers rather than getting bogged down in the technical details of API development.