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API-first design

Recommendation
Updated
Moved
USE
2021-09-07

What is it

API-first design is an approach to backend service development that prioritizes API design as an essential part of the system design process.

In many cases, however, calling it "API-first" might not be technically correct, as rigorous domain and data modeling work may be needed in order to design an effective API - especially in domains such as freight, where there is plenty of complexity and historical context to navigate.

When to use it

Apply an API-first design methodology when building your backend services, to ensure their APIs are well-designed, consistent and provide a great developer experience to their users, regardless if they are Einride collegues or third party developers.

How to learn it

Current best practices

Familiarize yourself with our current best practices for gRPC API design, such as reading through and understanding the AIP design system and the ecosystem of frameworks and tooling around it.

Do the backend onboarding guide and put everything into context of developing a minimal backend service.

Future best practices

Be on the lookout for emerging API technologies, from schema management frameworks and tooling such as Buf to API Gateways such as ESPv2. Introduce and evaluate new entries on the Tech Radar to ensure we keep improving our way of working with APIs.