Best Practices for REST API Design

If you’re developing a REST API for your application, you should follow a few basic best practices.

  • The first of these is to use the proper naming convention for each resource. This naming convention will help developers and consumers identify resources that are similar. The name of the API should be the same as the author’s name. This is an important aspect of  restful services and apis. The next best practice is to ensure that the resources’ contents are descriptive, but not descriptive.
  • The second best practice is to avoid using ambiguous resource URIs. If you need to distinguish between two similar resource URIs, you need to make sure that they are different in form. For example, the API that returns a customer’s order details should be named customer. Similarly, the API that returns a product or a service’s price should be called price. Both types of endpoint names should be consistent.
  • Adding a media type to a resource is essential. In case you want your API to be accessible to multiple clients, it’s best to add a.json or.xml extension to the URL. JSON is a JavaScript object notation, which uses camelCase for field names. Creating a restful API that provides this format is easy to use and can result in a richer experience for users.
  • Another best practice is to use a URI. The URI should be composed of a resource name, and should be consistent and secure. The URI should be short enough to allow for a wide range of devices to access it. The URI should also be easily understood by the user. It should be easy to navigate. A well-designed REST API will increase the adoption rate of its API. You can start by following the best practices.
  • There are many other best practices for REST API design that you can implement in your application. You should encrypt the communication between the API and database. A secure connection is essential in ensuring the privacy of your customers. A secure REST API should use TLS/SSL encryption to protect the data and the information it contains. For the best security, you should avoid exposing sensitive information. For example, never store your password on your API.
  • Third-party clients should be able to use versioning to ensure consistency and compatibility. This means that your API should have safe HTTP methods for every action. Those methods should be HEAD, GET, OPTIONS, and TRACE. You should also use a variety of idioms when developing an REST API. There are many other best practices that you should follow. If you’re not sure, start by reading the dissertation Roy Fielding wrote.
  • In REST API design, the resource objects should be in a logical hierarchy. For example, users may want to find out more about a user’s activity. A user’s profile should contain a list of their recent activities, such as searching for a specific person or browsing the web. A well-designed REST API should also offer a way to view and edit photos. Ideally, a user should be able to easily work with the API by clicking on a photo or sharing a picture.
  • The best REST APIs are logical and have a logical hierarchy. They contain links between resource objects, but not their names. However, it is not recommended to use nested URIs because they can cause confusion for users. You should limit the nesting to a single level. If you do have multiple levels, you should create a hierarchy and then use a different one for each one.
  • Another best practice is to provide multiple endpoints. A simple endpoint is not enough to satisfy a complex business scenario. The consumer may want to search for items that meet specific conditions or retrieve only a small subset of data. In such cases, you should provide the same options for pagination and filtering. Besides, you should use a querystring to make it easy to find a specific object.

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