MuleSoft has released developer tooling for RAML (RESTful API Modeling Language), a concise and expressive language for specifying APIs as a free service available on APIhub (the most comprehensive public repository and richest community for APIs) as well as an open source download at RAML.org now.
The company is telling programmers than any developer can now build REST APIs that foster a standard design-first approach.
"APIs are taking over the world. However, chaos and confusion are still prevalent without design standards for consistency and reuse. This leads to huge variability in quality, friction for the developers, and wildly uncertain API initiatives for enterprises," said Uri Sarid, CTO at MuleSoft.
"We believe that an open, simple, and succinct spec for describing APIs, that captures their structure and fosters pattern-based design and reuse, will help unlock the potential of the API economy. RAML is the right candidate to do exactly that and we see the potential for it to garner broad adoption — even now we're seeing others in the ecosystem rallying around RAML."
RAML is the first standard facilitating what has been called a "design-first" approach to APIs.
MuleSoft's claims that its tools "expose the underlying value of RAML" — and that they do this throughout the entire lifecycle of an API, from designing and building to evaluating and integrating.
The MuleSoft tooling includes the API Designer: a web-based, intuitive development tool that builds a live, visual representation of an API on the fly. There are also API providers to create an API in a human-readable format, and then socialize that API definition with key stakeholders.
Iteration is rapid, says the company — editing a RAML spec takes only minutes — and supports the API provider in creating a developer-friendly API.
The API Console is a graphical representation of a RAML-documented API that visually exposes API structures and important patterns while providing access to static and interactive API documentation.
"Developers want tools that are clean with minimal design and a joy to use. That's how the AngularJS framework gained so much traction — it makes development fun. RAML is clearly built on the same principles, targeted at the API ecosystem," said Miško Hevery, AngularJS project founder. "As more and more APIs are described by RAML, API design improves and becomes more consistent. Good API design helps developers maximize productivity and flexibility, eliminating the need for developers to waste countless hours struggling to consume RESTful APIs."