How to write api documentation download

The sample controller has two actions: The sample defines an attribute which derives from IControllerConfiguration.

How to write api documentation download

I enjoy driving very fast cars and drinking red wine; privately. Getting started from scratch is always the biggest challenge and use of time, so I greatly appreciate those APIs that are very well-documented.

Some of them even make it fun to learn.

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What makes the best API documentation? Others like Programmable Web and Parse have written up some great advice on this topic.

I think the bar is being raised constantly and I will attempt to add to their solid foundation. That said, these guidelines can be applied and bent to most if not all API-like interfaces.

Audiences As with any product — and yes, API documentation is most certainly a product — we need to start by understanding who needs to use it.

Developer looking to get started — the newcomer Developer debugging a specific issue in an existing client — the debugger CTO evaluating competing APIs — the decision maker Product manager figuring out if X is possible with the API — the searcher Desired Features Based on these audiences we can break down a series of the most desired features beyond the most basic documentation of the existence of every call.

Document each and every call in your API separately, with detailed notes on parameters and their possible values Context.


IO has done this very well. Make the documentation for every call an example of that call being made, with details about the request and response GitHubfor instance, does this. After meeting that bare minimum, the rest of these features will be about building great API docs. Instead, you should strive to make the documentation for every call intelligible first to the searcher, who is trying to understand which call does what to which nouns and why.

I would recommend that you actually start your documentation process by writing these English domain explanations for each call. It is also a great practice to link jargon and domain-specific words to useful definitions the first time they are used in any given section.

These tactics will help you ensure clarity and good structure across your API at the level of the domain and why certain calls exist, before you ever get lost in the details of parameters, headers and responses. To satisfy the frequency of the debugger audience case, all API docs should allow for quick reference to all of the functionality provided by the API, logically organized.

Both your debugger and your newcomer are going to be flipping back and forth between your docs and their editor, which means anything you can do to make visual reorientation easier is better. The Parse docs are great for ease of reading and copying.

how to write api documentation download

Tutorials Addressing the newcomer case head-on, tutorials should be step-by-step introductions to using the API as if the developer has never before heard of your company or service.

The tutorial should integrate explanations of what the various API resources and states are in a business or domain sense while it explains how to manipulate them.

Note that authentication is often a topic unto itself, especially if you are using OAuth and especially for OAuth request signing, which is a highly specific and error-prone process with differing implementations in various language libraries, many of which are subtly incorrect.

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Create a tutorial around these topics if you are relying on OAuth. Tutorials should strive to be clear, concise and evenly spaced across steps.

Remember that your newcomer has no previous experience with the resources that you work with every day, but they are smart and they will learn quickly if your tutorials are helpful and friendly.

You should consolidate these topics in one place, under their own headings, separate from your API calls. But then within the documentation for each call you should indicate which global concerns apply to that call and link to their sections.

GitHub tries to do this but only gets half way there by separating the global concerns into their own sections, failing to link back to them from individual calls.

Be sure to explain clearly what each of the possible values are for these headers, how to acquire or generate those values and how their usage will modify the responses from the API. GitHub does a decent job of explaining various request headers, though they are sprinkled thoroughout documentation around different features of their API.Browse the docs online or download a copy of your own.

Python's documentation, tutorials, and guides are constantly evolving.

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Get started here, or scroll down for documentation broken out by type and subject. Locate Open API Documentation for Confluence via search. The appropriate app version appears in the search results.

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Java Excel API - A Java API to read, write, and modify Excel spreadsheets There is also sample code included in the download; Subscribe to the JExcelApi Mailing Group. May 28,  · Get notifications on updates for this project. Get the SourceForge newsletter. Get newsletters and notices that include site news, special offers and . API documentation (API docs) or API specifications (API specs) On-line or hardcopy descriptions of the API, intended primarily for programmers writing in Java. These can be generated using the Javadoc tool or created some other way.

Aug 06,  · Good software documentation, whether a specifications document for programmers and testers, a technical document for internal users, or software manuals and help files for end users, helps the person working with the software understand its features and functions%(50).

API documentation Intro to API documentation Viewing documentation Local environments and shared environments How to document using Markdown Publishing public docs Adding and verifying custom domains Adding team name and logo Monitors.

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