Using the REST API in Mobile App Development
Using the REST API to connect the mobile app in the palm of your hand to highly functional web based services.
Apps mostly work with an internet connection, and there are not many apps that can work without an active internet connection.
Thanks to an Internet connection, an app can easily interact with the backend, APIs and web services. Most of these APIs, backend tools and web services are generally made available for the app projects by leading tech companies such as Amazon, Google, Microsoft and several others.
These APIs are developed internally, and they often appear as “one size fits all” kind of solutions for a multitude of apps and naturally have several shortcomings. This is why building Restful APIs for particular apps has become so much popular these days. If you want to build a robust API for your specific app project, here we are providing best practices, tools and effective tips for Restful API development.
What is a RESTful API?
RESTful API basically refers to all the functions used by the developers for sending and receiving requests and responses. By using these APIs, an app can send and receive data in a streamlined and seamless fashion. Thanks to these APIs, an app can be more feature-rich, performance-focused and scalable. Most importantly, APIs help maintains the modularity of the app project.
Why is developing RESTful APIs for mobile app projects totally different?
Mobile apps involve performance-savvy features and demand for robust user experience. In the context of mobile apps, users are likely to do less while servers take a maximum load to ensure a smooth and engaging app performance and user experience. This is where the role of the APIs proves vital.
APIs developed for mobile apps go through a lot of updates over time to ensure fine-tuned performance and user experience. Mobile APIs also use the highly secure HTTPS protocol to ensure maximum data security. Reconciliation between offline and online modes is also important for the APIs to allow users to access some content and features without an internet connection. When it is about designing API, app development India boasts of several development services known for creating modular APIs for diverse app projects.
Developing your custom API: Key tips to consider
APIs play a far more important role than what most people conceive. APIs help developers with the monetization of the information for a long period of time. But that is also why developing an API is not easy as you need to ensure excellent documentation, smooth orchestration with data and great performance.
Do you want to build powerful REST APIs for your app projects? Do you need to develop a custom API that perfectly fits your app development needs? Well, let us explain here some important tips for developing such custom APIs.
Choosing the right architecture
As for choosing the right architecture, you should avoid completely unknown ones as this will unnecessarily add a learning curve for the developers. For API design, four different styles of architecture that are popular in the market and their strengths are mentioned below.
- Hypermedia is the most scalable and flexible type of API architecture when it comes to web applications.
- Pragmatic REST is the architecture used by APIs for both mobile and web apps. It is widely popular among developers.
- Web service is the API architecture not appropriate for mobile apps and is used for only the web.
- Event-driven API architecture works best in all app options with low overhead. It is very effective for various services such as instant messaging, multiple-player gaming, video chat, etc.
In order to enhance the effectiveness of an API to the optimum level, the API architecture should come with layered components. Here are some key layers to consider.
- Security layer: This layer will give your API complete protection from all types of security threats or data breaches.
- Caching layer: The caching layer helps the API to respond to any common queries for which results are already cached.
- Representation layer: This layer deals with the way API is going to work and get tuned to the app’s look and feel.
- Orchestration layer: This is the API layer that orchestrates the entire app performance by bringing together data from different APIs.
The API should also ensure that the server takes maximum load so that users need to use less network data and battery power for intensive tasks. This can be done by coordinating with remote server-side APIs.
Key tools for building custom APIs
For building robust and high-performance APIs, it is important to use the right set of tools that can easily leverage web services across mobile platforms. Some of the key categories of tools that you should consider include tools for project management, testing, API documentation and a few others. Here we recommend a few such tools.
- Trello: This is a very well-known Software as a Service (SaaS) tool used widely for software project management, coordination and collaboration among the team members.
- REST-assured or Chakram: There are several options to choose for testing frameworks. REST-assured is a superb Java-based test automation framework. Chakram is also a good REST API testing framework that uses Node.js.
- Postman: It is a comprehensive API development tool that can also be used for testing.
- Swagger: This is the best tool for documentation. It can practically document each, and everything g in the development process, including error codes and all, failed calls.
When creating a RESTful API for a mobile app project, it is always advisable to organize resources in a highly modular way to help to deal with different priorities in an effective manner. One should facilitate continuous collaboration and coordination among developers at all levels to ensure that no coding glitches remain whether they are working at the backend or client-side to avoid glitches.