Swagger, the Interactive API Documentation Framework that Benefits both API Providers and Consumers

Janet Wagner, Data Journalist / Full Stack Developer
Feb. 19 2013, 01:46PM EST

Last month ProgrammableWeb reported that Wordnik, a popular online dictionary and provider of the Wordnik API, had launched a brand new company called Reverb. Reverb is home to several developer tools including Swagger, a complete framework for "describing, producing, consuming, and visualizing RESTful web services." This post is an overview of the Swagger interactive API documentation specification and framework.

Swagger

Swagger makes it possible for API providers to create interactive API documentation where developers can not only learn specifics about an API, but also experiment with, test and debug API calls. Swagger can be implemented in many different ways including Scala, Java, HTML5, JavaScript, Ruby and PHP. The Swagger core is available for download at GitHub.

Automated API documentation that is consistent, easy to read and provides the ability to make live API calls is beneficial to both API providers and API consumers. Thorough, interactive API documentation helps developers better understand and easily consume APIs and also aids in API discovery. For API providers, offering APIs that are easy to understand and consume helps in the promotion of their APIs and can increase the adoption and consumption of their APIs by developers.

3scale is one of the companies that use Swagger to provide interactive API documentation and Swagger is featured in 3scale's New Open Source API Proxy. In a blog post, 3scale states about Swagger:

"At 3scale when we are asked how to make it faster and easier for developers to interact with an API without hesitation we say Swagger."

Detailed information about Swagger can be found at Reverb and GitHub.

Janet Wagner is a data journalist and full stack developer based in Toledo, Ohio. Her focus revolves around APIs, data visualization, machine learning, and data-driven journalism. Follow her on Twitter: @webcodepro, Google+, or send her an email.

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