What are some alternatives to Swagger for documenting REST APIs?

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May Swagger be popular around the world, but it too has some downside when you are looking to have someone else manage your API infrastructure. At that moment maybe you want to use other Swagger alternatives best suited for that purpose.

Some of them that we are going to see here are: 3Scale, Apiary and Mashery. Want to add any other which is not included here, mention them in the comment section at the end of this page.

3Scale

When you are looking for an alternative for Swagger especially on exposing API to public you need to consider 3Scale first. You can access their official website here -> https://www.3scale.net/

To get started, you need an account setup with 3Scale. If you haven’t already done so, create your own free account now and give it a go.


After you login to their API portal, all you have to do is to define all of the existing endpoints for your API and set these up within 3scale. Set this up within the API service which is created by default with your 3scale account by going to the Integration > Methods & Metrics view in your API space.

You also want to track how many records your API users have added to their index, as these are included and charged for as part of their plan.

Now that you’ve created all of the endpoints you want to expose and track in 3scale and have defined how your customers will access your API, you need to set up the API gateway to easily integrate with 3scale.

On the same portal, go to Integration section and create a gateway for you. The next step is to map your actual API endpoints or paths to the metrics you just defined in the application plan. Since there are many actions available on these API endpoints, you’ll create a rule for all the HTTP methods available on the API paths.

Once the setup is done, you can test the integration to ensure the setup will work in production.

Apiary

Apiary along with Oracle rocks the show when it comes to documentation and what Swagger is currently missing as a feature to expose API to public. You can access Apiary website here -> https://apiary.io/products

One cool thing notable about Apiary is security on board. It claims that whether your team is large or small, you need to make sure that everyone is in the right role—to edit or view API blueprints and to have administrative oversight of the people on your projects.


I have got a chance to look at the dashboard provided by Apiary. The dashboard, to my opinion looks very promising, elegant, and very precise. Contains what is needed. Apiary gives you the tools you need to manage complexity. As an Apiary for Teams administrator, you have the option to grant any member of your team powerful Editor or restricted Viewer access to projects when and where needed.

Apiary for Teams enables you to control settings for new API blueprints, ensuring that API blueprints remain secure and available only to approved team members and internal users.

Key feature for consideration:

  • Apiary Editor
  • Interactive Documentation
  • Mock Server
  • API Inspector
  • GitHub Sync
  • GitHub Integration
  • Automated Testing
  • Apiary CLI
  • GitHub Enterprise (GHE) Integration

Mashery

Mashery, from Tibco, is a cloud-native API platform which you can deploy APIs anywhere, and manage them from everywhere. You can access the official site here -> https://www.tibco.com/products/api-management

Like 3Scale, Mashery is also a cloud based highly integrated platform. We will see about Mashery here.

Mashery is notable for the following:

  • API-led innovation
  • Agility
  • Supports ton of new business models
  • Enterprise-scale security

Mashery delivers market-leading full lifecycle API management capabilities for enterprises adopting cloud-native development and deployment practices, such as DevOps, Microservices, and Containers.

Monitor and visualize custom operational and usage-based KPIs at the executive summary level, or utilize deeper, endpoint-level drilldown.

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