The importance of APIs can’t be understated in the modern software development world. They power the apps on your phone, they power the webpages you browse, and they fuel the games you and your friends play. API’s have become the connective tissue that powers the digital world, which means that keeping up with modern trends and best practices is essential to keep things running smoothly.
In this article, we’ll cover some of the most popular books centered around APIs, giving you a great starting point for your next project.
APIs: A Strategy Guide
APIs are the backbone of modern technology, even though it’s only recently exploded in popularity within the last ten years. This book helps illustrate to both dev and non-dev audiences just how powerful APIs can be and how they can be used for businesses and companies beyond connecting internal applications together.
Not only is this book by Daniel Jacobson, Greg Brail, Dan Woods an excellent starting point for teams who are looking to create a more robust and effective API, it also helps show how to manage your API and make it flourish. It covers topics like API management, API implementation, and marketing, and even helps address some legal issues that can arise.
Overall, "APIs: A Strategy Guide" offers a holistic perspective on APIs, making it a valuable resource for individuals and organizations seeking to harness the full potential of APIs in today's digital landscape. The author’s extensive experience in the field and practical insights make this book an essential read for those looking to stay competitive and innovative in the world of APIs.
Advanced API Security: OAuth 2.0 and Beyond
Security is paramount today, with malicious attackers and critical vulnerabilities around every corner. Thankfully, you won’t be left in the dark thanks to Prabath Siriwardena’s expertise in API security. Advanced API Security: OAuth 2.0 and Beyond covers a broad scope of API security issues, such as:
- In-depth OAuth 2.0 info - All the core concepts of OAuth are explained, including it’s flows and authorization methods. This gives you a clear understanding of how to set up secure access to your API.
- Practical implementations - Beyond the basics, you’ll be introduced to how to apply OAuth 2.0 in real-world scenarios and guidance for smooth execution. It’ll also cover multiple use cases and provide hands-on examples so you can apply the information safely outside production.
- Best practices in API security - Naturally, this book is all about keeping your API secure. To do so, it includes plenty of information about starting and maintaining good security practices from the start, through the entire API lifecycle, and more.
- Advanced security topics - Beyond just OAuth, the book covers other security topics, including OpenID Connect, OAuth SSO, and API security within microservices. This helps ensure you can cover all your bases, regardless of your current tech stack.
Production Ready GraphQL
While RESTful APIs are still king, that doesn’t mean that they’re the only players in the game. GraphQL is constantly growing in popularity, offering a new way to design and use APIs. Production Ready GraphQL, written by Marc-Andre Giroux, as a book not only covers the basics of GraphQL, but dives in deep to give you a full understanding of it all.
The book aims to paint you a full picture of how it all works, throughout the entire lifecycle. Not only is it language agnostic, it shows you how to structure your API, workflows that mingle best with GraphQL, and even how to keep it secure from bad actors. Plus, it also includes interviews with notable GraphQL developers, and extra information on GraphQL Schema designs!
Hands-On RESTful API Design Patterns and Best Practices
If you’re looking for a practical, easy-to-use guide for API patterns, this one, written by Harihara Subramanian & Pethuru Raj, is the ONE!
Hands-On RESTful API Design Patterns and Best Practices offers amazing insights into establishing efficient and secure APIs for your organization. This book gives a solid foundation of APIs as a whole, from gateways, security, cloud implementation, and even patterns.
Additionally, the book gives hands-on examples you can follow for a better grasp of these patterns and how they’re integrated into systems. It even covers bringing modern API practices to older codebases with layers, connectors, and microservices. That way, you can breathe new life into older systems where you can’t just start from scratch.
RESTful Web API Patterns and Practices Cookbook
This book is a stellar entry into APIs, aiming to help readers deeply understand the nuanced processes needed for effective API design. The author, Mike Amundsen, has taken great care to highlight how APIs are evolving and how they need to be aimed at not just developers but customers too. RESTful Web API Patterns and Practices Cookbook shows readers how APIs evolve over time and common design patterns within API architecture.
As you can tell from the title, this book mainly circles around RESTful API designs, but it also delves into designing them around resources — including objects, data, or services a client could access. It shows how establishing good practices from the beginning, such as appropriately naming resources and using standard HTTP error codes as responses, to create a long-lasting, accessible API. Plus, it covers more accessibility topics, like filtering, sorting, and pagination, to make results easy to digest or manipulate.
Building APIs You Won’t Hate
With a clear focus on real-world applications, this book demystifies essential API design principles, emphasizing clean naming, structured data representation, and proper HTTP method usage. It then tackles key topics such as error handling, versioning, and security, providing readers with the knowledge and tools needed to create robust and secure APIs.
One of the book's standout features is its emphasis on practical insights and best practices. Readers gain access to valuable guidance, case studies, and tips to avoid common API development pitfalls. Building APIs You Won’t Hate empowers both beginners and seasoned developers to make informed decisions that align with industry standards and modern development practices.
Whether you're a newcomer starting your API journey or an experienced developer looking to refine your API design skills, this book offers a roadmap to crafting APIs that are not just functional but also enjoyable for developers to use and integrate into their applications.
Closing The Book on API Books
While there’s never going to be a shortage of books on software development, it’s worth diving into some pages when you’re looking for more in-depth information than your average StackOverflow post. Staying up-to-date on the latest API literature is essential for anyone working with them, and these books are some of the best ways for it. Plus, reading is cool 😎.