Top Resources for API Architects and Developers
We hope you’ve enjoyed reading our series on API architecture and development. We wrote about best practices for REST APIs with Amazon API Gateway and GraphQL APIs with AWS AppSync. This post will cover the top resources that all API developers should be aware of.
Tech Talks, Webinars, and Twitch Live Stream
The technical staff at AWS have produced a variety of digital media that cover new service launches, best practices, and customer questions. Be sure to review these videos for tips and tricks on building APIs:
- Happy Little APIs: This is a multi part series produced by our awesome Developer Advocate, Eric Johnson. He leads a series of talks that demonstrate how to build a real world API.
- API Gateway’s WebSocket webinar: API Gateway now supports real time APIs with Websockets. This webinar covers how to use this feature and why you should let API Gateway manage your realtime APIs.
- Best practices for building enterprise grade APIs: API Gateway reduces the time it takes to build and deploy REST development but there are strategies that can make development, security, and management easier.
- An Intro to AWS AppSync and GraphQL: AppSync helps you build sophisticated data applications with realtime and offline capabilities.
Gain Experience With Hands-On Workshops and Examples
One of the easiest ways to get started with Serverless REST API development is to use the Serverless Application Model (SAM). SAM lets you run APIs and Lambda functions locally on your machine for easy development and testing.
For example, you can configure API Gateway as an Event source for Lambda with just a few lines of code:
If you’re working with GraphQL, you should review the Amplify Framework. This is an official AWS project that helps you quickly build Web Applications with built in AuthN and backend APIs using REST or GraphQL. With just a few lines of code, you can have Amplify add all required configurations for your GraphQL API. You have two options to integrate your application with an AppSync API:
An excellent walk through of the Amplify toolkit is available here, including an example showing how to create a single page web app using ReactJS powered by an AppSync GraphQL API.
Finally, if you are interested in a full hands on experience, take a look at:
- The Amazon API Gateway WildRydes workshop. This workshop teaches you how to build a functional single page web app with a REST backend, powered by API Gateway.
- The AWS AppSync GraphQL Photo Workshop. This workshop teaches you how to use Amplify to quickly build a Photo sharing web app, powered by AppSync.
The official AWS documentation is the source of truth for architects and developers. Get started with the API Gateway developer guide. API Gateway is currently has two APIs (V1 and V2) for managing the service. Here is where you can view the SDK and CLI reference.
As an API architect, your job is not only to design and implement the best API for your use case, but your job is also to figure out which type of API is most cost effective for your product. For example, an application with high request volume (“chatty“) may benefit from a GraphQL implementation instead of REST.
API Gateway currently charges $3.50 / million requests and provides a free tier of 1 Million requests per month. There is tiered pricing that will reduce your costs as request volume rises. AppSync currently charges $4.00 / million for Query and Mutation requests.
While AppSync pricing per request is slightly higher, keep in mind that the nature of GraphQL APIs typically result in significantly fewer overall request numbers.
Finally, we encourage you to join us in the coming weeks — we will be starting a series of posts covering messaging best practices.