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API Development - Application Areas & Best Practices

Chris Wolf

Chris Wolf

API-Entwicklung: Dokumentierung mit Swagger.

API development is important for modern software development and digital transformation. APIs play a key role in the integration of systems. They automate processes. They help to open up new business areas. In short, it is impossible to imagine today's networked world without them.

How does API development benefit a company?

More and more companies are recognising the advantages of digitalisation. It optimises business processes and strengthens the digital presence.

This often leads to the acquisition and use of a wide variety of digital systems. Each system has its own purpose. But to make the best use of a company's data, it needs to be synchronised across systems. This is where API development comes into play.

Integration of different tools

APIs enable the seamless integration of different applications, systems and services. By developing APIs, companies can better connect their internal systems and integrate external services or platforms. In doing so, they improve communication, data flow and the efficiency of their business processes.

Automation of common processes, e.g. in marketing

APIs offer the possibility to automate frequently recurring tasks. In marketing, for example, APIs can be used to collect and analyse data from various sources, create automated email campaigns or publish social media posts. By automating such processes, companies save time, reduce errors and increase the effectiveness of their marketing activities.

Integration of AI support

Recent advances in artificial intelligence are already having a major impact on the economy. Virtually every offering is now supported and enhanced by AI. In fact, there is still a lot of untapped potential here.

One example is the automatic generation of reports or article summaries. Instead of manually analysing and summarising long texts, the OpenAI API can be used to create a precise and concise summary. This not only saves time, but also enables faster information processing and better decision-making.

OpenAI offers its current AI model GPT-4 via API.

Another example is the automatic translation of texts or complete correspondences. Companies operating in a global environment can use APIs to translate texts into different languages in real time. This makes communication with international customers and partners much easier and helps to increase efficiency.

3 Practical examples: How to use API development?

Linking two systems

With API development, we have connected 3cx with Pipedrive CRM and synchronise the call logs.

View Case Study

Automated invoicing

This API development automates invoicing after sales on an online marketplace.

View Case Study

Acceleration of business processes

Creating and publishing websites is complicated. We have automated this process with the help of APIs.

View Case Study

Best practices in dealing with APIs


Implement appropriate security mechanisms, such as API keys, OAuth or JWT, to ensure that only authorised users can access the API.


Swagger has established itself as the industry standard for documenting APIs. In the Laravel ecosystem, there is also the notable package Laravel Request Docs which makes it much easier to create endpoint documentation, provided you have followed Laravel best practices.

No matter what type of documentation is used, it is enormously important. Create comprehensive and easy-to-understand documentation that includes functionality, endpoints, parameters, possible error codes and examples of how to use the API.


Use Webhooks to send real-time notifications to other systems. Make sure that the webhooks are well documented and work reliably.

Uniform naming of endpoints

Use consistent and meaningful names for resources, endpoints and parameters to make the API intuitive and user-friendly.

Error handling

Provide meaningful error messages and appropriate HTTP status codes to help developers troubleshoot and improve interoperability.


If your application does without a user interface and mainly provides an API as a service, error monitoring with tools such as Bugsnag or Sentry is essential.

Background knowledge: What is an API?

To better understand the benefits of API development, it is important to take a closer look at the concept of APIs.

The term API is often used synonymously for a data source that is accessible via the internet and for the programming interface of a software.

By definition, API (Application Programming Interface) stands for commands, functions and protocols that can be used by developers to interact with software.

Thanks to APIs, data exchange between different systems is significantly accelerated and simplified.

If by "API" you mean a data source, for example the API of a CRM system, then it is usually a REST API.

How does an API work?

APIs define the interfaces and protocols through which applications can communicate with each other. An API defines which functions, data structures and behaviours are provided by an application and how they can be used by other applications.


APIs use various mechanisms for authentication and authorisation to ensure that only authorised applications can access the data and functions. Examples include API keys, OAuth 2.0 and JSON Web Tokens (JWT).

REST (Representational State Transfer)

REST is a widely used architectural pattern for the development of APIs. It is based on the principle of resources that can be addressed and manipulated via uniform URLs (Uniform Resource Locators). RESTful APIs use the HTTP methods such as GET, POST, PUT and DELETE to perform operations on the resources. By using REST, communication between systems is standardised and simplified.

Data structure

An API also defines the data structure used by the applications. It determines which data formatting, fields and types are used in the requests and responses. JSON (JavaScript Object Notation) or XML (Extensible Markup Language) are often used for data exchange in APIs. The uniform data structure facilitates the processing and interpretation of data between applications.


Versioning an API is important to ensure compatibility and stability as the API evolves over time. Versioning can ensure that existing applications continue to function correctly even when changes are made to the API. New versions of the API can be introduced to add new functionality or improve existing functionality without affecting existing applications

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