draft: falsein this .mdx file once ready to be published.
In this list, you will find five tools you need to use whilst building web APIs. These range from API testing platforms to API version control tools.
First, let's define what an API is and why we need different tools to build them. API stands for Application Programming Interface. To put it simply, a web API is a premade set of tools that you can access over HTTP/HTTPS. There are many different types of APIs: REST, WebSocket, Socket.io, GraphQL, and more. API tools help us become more productive and more efficient while building APIs. Some of these tools include an API testing platform, API data analytics tool, and more. With that out of the way, let's dive right into the list!
Note: the list is in no particular order.
Amazon API Gateway is a (starting free) service that makes it easy for developers to create, publish, maintain, monitor, and secure APIs at any scale. Amazon API Gateway supports REST APIs as well as WebSocket APIs. This tool supports nearly everything, from serverless to containers. API Gateway handles nearly everything in your API: Cors, scalability, versioning, authorization, and more! API Gateway also interacts seamlessly with other AWS services such as Lambda or EC2. Amazon's API Gateway is a cheap and powerful tool to use whilst building APIs. This talk is a great resource for getting started with API Gateway.
API Metrics is an intelligent platform that gives you detailed statistics on your APIs. They provide tools such as API benchmarking, API monitoring, API security monitoring, and more. API Metrics is for everyone: banks, enterprises, IoT, government, and developers. They provide detailed metrics and statistics which are extremely useful. All of these metrics are real-time. Big companies such as Nylas, Signify, and Telus use API Metrics. This tool is a must-have for anyone looking to monitor the security and speed of their APIs.
Node Version Manager is the best node versioning tool out there. Instead of installing Node all over again every time they release a new version, just run this command:
nvm install VERSION. Replace
VERSION with the version of Node you would like to use. This tool is especially useful when you are working with different codebases. For example, if a codebase you are working on uses Node 14 (and you have that installed) but another codebase that you are working on uses Node 12. Just install Node 12 using NVM, and you can easily switch back and forth between version 12 and version 14. You can install NVM on all three operating systems here.
Datadog takes API monitoring and security to the next level. Companies like Samsung, The Washington Post, Nginx, and more use Datadog. My favorite feature of Datadog is its real-time interactive API dashboards. The dashboard provides detailed metrics, traces, and logs that enhance the debugging process. Also, there are endless types of visualizations for the data on your dashboards: graphs, tables, heat maps, scatter plots, and more. Datadog also offers other services such as log management, serverless, alerts, and more. They also have a great blog that is all about APIs and using Datadog in your applications. Also, it's one of the cheaper options out there. They have a free plan, a pro plan ($15 per month), and an enterprise plan ($23 per month). If you are developing a SAAS app or a side project, I would recommend going with the pro plan as it provides all you would need to monitor your API efficiently.
Firecamp is the best API campsite for building APIs nowadays. Companies like Walmart and Freshdesk use Firecamp to build their APIs. Firecamp supports REST, GraphQL, WebSocket, Socket.io, Firebase, and many more. They provide an extensive, slick, and intricate GraphQL playground which offers file upload support, managed query collections, and more. Firecamp also has a code generation tool for HTTP, GQL, and WS for your desired language. My favorite feature about Firecamp is how well it integrates with a team. Just create a workspace on Firecamp, add your team members, and all your queries are synced real-time with all your other team members. This makes it incredibly easy to share the progress you have made in just a second. Firecamp provides a basic ($5 per month), pro ($7 per month), and an enterprise plan (coming soon). If you are working with a team I would recommend getting the enterprise plan or pro plan. If you are working on a SAAS app or side project, the pro plan would be a great option!
I hope you picked up a new tool in your API building toolbox. If you have other great tools that you use to build APIs, I would love to hear them in the comments section. Thanks for reading!