Having a REST API available to interact with your system can be a great asset, and can help get more and more developers to use your service. However, incomplete or hard to read documentation of your API can make it difficult for people to make use of the API, so good documentation is a must if you want to get as many people up and running with your API as possible. So, what are some things that can be done?
Include as much helpful information as possible
This probably goes without saying, but you can help developers immensely by providing helpful, straightforward information that lets people know what to expect when they make an API call. For example, here are some key pieces of information you may wish to include in your documentation:
Of course, these are just the basics. You may wish to add special notes or provide examples of what will be posted or returned for each route, all of which will prove helpful for developers making use of your API!
In addition to providing the right information, it is a good idea to be consistent in its presentation. Be sure to use a consistent template for displaying the documentation for each route (commonly a layout that looks visually like a table. Also, use consistent naming conventions.
For example, try to avoid using two terms that refer to the same thing, such as using the terms “users” and “members” to refer to the users of the system. If they are two different entities in your system, then be sure to make the distinction clear in your documentation, as it will help avoid confusion and make your API easier to use!
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