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How we build our API documentation

API DocumentationIf you have ever used APIs you know that good documentation is important. It should also always be up-to-date. In this post I’m not going to discuss how to write documentation and what is required, but rather which tools we use to get the documentation updated as quickly as possible on our developer portal (developer.leaseweb.com).

We employ a number of different tools to help with the process.

  1. RAML (raml.org)

Good documentation starts with good specifications. For this we have decided to use RESTful API Modeling Language (RAML) (created by MuleSoft), together with tools like raml2html (https://github.com/raml2html/raml2html) for creating HTML. Using templates, we can create the HTML as we need it for further processing. Within the RAML specifications, we give descriptions to each endpoints that will become the documentation a user can see on the site.

We already had experience with RAML, which made our choice easy, but there are other tools/specifications around that can do the same. Swagger (swagger.io) is probably the largest and most supported framework around.

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