Designing an API is easy. But designing an API that is long lived, and that your users love - well that's a little bit harder. But with RAML, you are able to take advantage of the full API Design Lifecycle, meaning that you can design your API visually, test it, and get user feedback without ever having to write a single line of code.
RAML lets you describe your API in a human readable format - in other words, plain text. As you use common sense terms to define your RESTful API, with tools like the API Workbench or API Designer, you can visually see what your API looks like as you go. This means with every key stroke, you have a live representation of how your API will look, feel, and function. It also means that RAML is easy to learn and easy to use - even if you're new to designing RESTful APIs.
Beyond being able to visually verify that your API looks, feels, and functions the way you want, RAML lets you incorporate two developer best practices: design patterns and code reuse. Rather than having to rely on human verification to ensure that your API is consistent, RAML lets you take advantage of libraries, overlays, traits, and resourceTypes to ensure that your API remains consistent throughout - and saves you a ton of rework in the process.
Prototype Your REST API
Thinking your API meets your users' needs is not enough - you should know it does. With RAML you can easily prototype your API and send it to potential API users or partners around the globe. This means you can easily share your API mock with whoever you want, whenever you want.
Plus RAML makes it easy for these developers to try out your API, with built in integration in popular API tools such as Postman. You can even guide your users through your mock API using the API Notebook, or better yet, let them provide you real world use cases of how they would interact with your API - again all without anyone having to write a line of code!
Perfect Your REST API
Because you are able to design, prototype, and get feedback on your RESTful API design, you're able to eliminate the design bugs and flaws BEFORE they hit production. This means you're able to take advantage of the API Design Cycle, and create an API that you know your users will love, and one that has been thought out and carefully tested to ensure it is flexible enough to be long-lived.
RAML completely changed the API Industry when it first came out, shifting the focus from "documenting your API" to encompassing the full API lifecycle. The ecosystem around RAML is about empowering developers to do more, and as RAML has advanced, so has the tooling.
The API Workbench is the first, fully featured IDE for API Design. No longer is API design a second-class citizen, but now developers can work on their API design where-ever they are while also taking advantage of built in Git Support, in-line console, outlines, and refactoring tools all from a single, light-weight utility.
The API Designer provides an intuitive web-based designer with built-in API Console and mocking service to let developers easily work together and collaborate on their API design while taking advantage of all the benefits RAML has to offer.
Popular IDE Plugins & More
RAML also works with many of today's popular IDEs, including Sublime Text Editor and Visual Studio. You can find a full list in our Project Library.