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The Zen of API Design

  • Focus and coordinate API development with the premier API design workbench.
  • Design APIs in a lucid and expressive language, with a first-class editing experience.
  • Manage technical decisions, choice of standards, and elements of style independently of the logical API design.
  • Generate implementation artifacts, API interchange formats, and documentation with a powerful, extensible code generator.
  • Bring your A-game to the API economy with better quality APIs.

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Elevate the Essence

Modern API design, and most of the discussion around it, tends to get bogged down with a lot of technical detail, philosophical debate, and competing standards. For something so essential to your business, there’s very little help when it comes to engaging business subject matter experts, making APIs easy to understand, and supporting development teams through design, implementation and integration.

The good news is that the pillars of modern APIs—including REST, hypermedia, and linked data—are anchored in simple concepts and design principles. You don’t need to be an expert on HTTP, JSON, or other components of the technology stack to understand APIs and to have meaningful input into their design.

The even better news is that most of the technical considerations are separable from the logical design of the API. We can work with a self-describing API model, specify the data and the operations in as much detail as we need, and leave most of the implementation concerns to configuration, code generation and downstream integration.

That’s what RepreZen™ does. RepreZen gives you a domain-specific language to describe APIs and data structures in the most natural and straightforward way; and an integrated toolset for customizable implementation and code binding. With this approach, you get a clear view of the logical API design, and a policy-driven framework for technical design and implementation.

RepreZen is not just about making the same APIs easier to develop; it’s about developing better APIs: conceptually clear, technically consistent, current with industry best practices, highly usable.

Speak the Language of APIs. Without the Jargon.

The RepreZen DSL (Domain-Specific Language) is a concise, structured language to describe the essential aspects of APIs.

While there are other languages that aim to describe RESTful APIs, RepreZen is specifically optimized to meet the organizational requirements for collaboration, standardization and governance.

RepreZen meets these requirements by:

  • Allowing the design team to specify and evolve the essential features of the API independently from lower-level stylistic and technical decisions.
  • Making API specifications concise, readable and accessible to reviewers and contributors at all levels of technical knowledge.
  • Describing data types and structures, essential to API specification, in a business-oriented, technology-neutral format that can be shared across teams or standardized across the organization.
  • Incorporating common API design patterns into the language, allowing the API design to express the intent, and affording flexibility in the implementation.

Model Once, Generate Everywhere

RepreZen uses Eclipse open source modeling technologies, the most mature and versatile platform for modeling, language development and code generation. Acceleo, the de facto standard for Eclipse model-to-text transformations, powers the RepreZen code generator.

RepreZen currently includes generators for WADL, XML Schema and JAX-RS scaffolding, with more generation targets on the way. But RepreZen users may also develop their own generators, using Acceleo templates and a few simple API hooks in the RepreZen code generator.

Your API Design Workbench

RepreZen provides an Eclipse-based workbench for API design and code generation.

Features include:

  • Syntax highlighting
  • Real-time validation and error reporting
  • Auto-complete
  • Code templates
  • Configurable generation targets
  • Automated code generation in the background, or manually controlled
RepreZen is in limited beta. Contact us to join the beta program or learn more about RepreZen.