Building cloud apps? Tackle the API first.

Building cloud apps? Tackle the API first.

Creating a working cloud-based application requires multiple elements. The pretty skin of the application is only a small piece of the puzzle, which relies on the glue of functional code and foundational services known as Application Program Interface (API) services. This symphony of programming tasks can quickly spiral into chaos if not organized in some logical fashion. The recommendation is to begin with the API, for a few compelling reasons.

Align Requirements

Tackling APIs at the beginning of a project forces the team to ask questions about the desired workflow of the application, and to consider how all pieces must work together. For each function of the application, a corresponding web service must be built in support of it. Each service must be very deliberately created with the understanding that it will be used by one to many applications. Creating them with flexibility in mind facilitates expansion and development of new apps in the future.

Writers of the application code should be on the same page and understand how to leverage the foundation that’s been constructed. Key stakeholders help establish the direction and vision of the application, and the coding teams can then fulfill those requirements efficiently.

Coordinate Development

Particularly for larger projects, the process of creating all of these components and combining them together can be chaotic. Teams working on different priorities and at different paces suffer the penalty of disjointed completion, integration trouble, and project delays. Beginning with the API establishes a stable and understandable starting point around which the other components can revolve.

Integration & Testing

A common point of failure when a cloud app dev project is not properly organized is where the service levels must be combined. Functions must call APIs and have passing tests for each call. If the teams are building in silo or on unrelated schedules, the chance of a successful integration is much smaller. Continuous Integration (CI) tools help determine the successful consolidation of code and services in an automated fashion, promoting cohesion.


A major benefit to API-first development is that it supports iterative and evolutionary development. Web services are easy to add components to when needed, enabling bigger and more innovative programs to be constructed using the same basic building blocks. This is a great asset to cloud-native applications since it facilitates fast prototyping. This approach eliminates the need to recreate the wheel every time a new app is desired, cutting down on project overhead and schedule.

Cloud app development is designed for rapid turnaround of new products and services. By committing to an API-first mentality, the time to market is shorter and customers receive what they want much faster. For more information on APIs and cloud applications, contact Coda Global today.

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