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Cherlock Code 🔎
Cherlock Code 🔎

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⛅️ 9 Best Free Tools for Creating & Managing APIs

Awesome tools for rapid API development.

When it comes to end-to-end software development, APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) are the glue that holds everything together.

And as a programmer, having solid API skills is essential if you want to build cool, modern apps that play nicely with others.

So luckily for us there are many tools available out there that can help us to build, test, manage and deploy APIs more easily.

But before we dive into the tools, let's quickly cover what an API actually is.

What is an API?

In simple terms, an API is like a messenger that allows different software applications to communicate and share data with each other.

It's a set of rules and protocols that define how one application can interact with another application or service.

Think of it like this: when you order food from a restaurant through a delivery app, the app doesn't actually make the food itself.

Instead, it uses an API to send your order to the restaurant's systems, which then prepares your meal and sends it out for delivery.

The API is the middleman that makes this seamless communication possible.

Why APIs Matter

APIs are the backbone of modern software development, enabling smooth integration and communication between different systems and services.

By exposing functionalities and data through well-defined interfaces, APIs allow developers to build powerful applications that utilise the capabilities of multiple platforms and services without reinventing the wheel.

Since we live in a modern interconnected world, where applications need to interact with various third-party services and data sources, APIs play a crucial role in enabling this interoperability.

From social media integration to payment gateways, cloud storage to machine learning services, APIs make it possible to incorporate these functionalities easily into your applications.

Choosing the Right Tools

Choosing the right API tool is super important because it can make or break your project's success, efficiency, and scalability.

With the perfect tool by your side, you'll be able to unlock new levels of productivity and ensure that your APIs are not only functional but also well-documented, secure, and easy to maintain.

When it comes to creating, managing, and keeping your APIs in tip-top shape, the following 9 free tools are great place to get started.

From designing APIs and writing documentation to testing and monitoring their performance, these resources will streamline your workflow, help you deliver awesome APIs.

Let’s take a look:

1. Postman


Postman is a popular API development tool that simplifies the entire API lifecycle, from design and documentation to testing and monitoring.

It offers a centralised API repository, a user-friendly interface for creating and sending requests, and extensive support for various API formats.

With its powerful testing and monitoring capabilities, as well as collaboration tools, Postman streamlines the API development process for teams of any size.


  • User-friendly interface
  • Extensive support for various API formats
  • Collaboration tools


  • Can be resource-intensive for large projects

2. SwaggerHub


SwaggerHub is a platform that focuses on OpenAPI specifications, making it an excellent choice for developers working with standardised API documentation.

Its smart API editor ensures compliance with OpenAPI specifications, while its intuitive interface and robust documentation support make it easy to design, document, and collaborate on APIs.

SwaggerHub also offers seamless integrations with other tools, enhancing the overall API development workflow.


  • Intuitive interface
  • Robust documentation support


  • May have a learning curve for beginners

3. Apigee


Apigee, part of the Google Cloud suite, is a powerful API management and monitoring platform.

It provides a comprehensive set of features for API management, including security, real-time analytics, and traffic management.

With Apigee, developers can easily create, secure, and scale APIs, while also benefiting from advanced monitoring and analytics capabilities to ensure optimal performance and reliability.


  • Comprehensive suite for API management
  • Scalable solution


  • Can be complex for small projects

4. RapidAPI


RapidAPI is the world's largest API marketplace, offering a vast collection of APIs across various domains.

In addition to its extensive marketplace, RapidAPI provides API design and testing tools, enabling developers to easily create, test, and integrate with a wide range of APIs.

Its user-friendly platform and easy integration make it a valuable resource for developers looking to leverage existing APIs or share their own.


  • Large user base
  • Ease of use


  • Some APIs may have performance issues

5. Azure API Management

Azure API Management

Microsoft's Azure API Management is a fully-managed service that helps organisations publish, secure, monitor, and scale APIs.

It offers good security features, transformation and monitoring capabilities, and a developer portal for seamless API consumption.

With its multiple features and integration with the Azure ecosystem, Azure API Management is an excellent choice for developers working within the Microsoft technology stack.


  • Comprehensive security
  • Real-time analytics


  • Pricing complexity

6. Apiary


Apiary is a collaborative API design and documentation tool that focuses on team collaboration.

Its Blueprint API design format and integrated mock server make it easy to design, prototype, and test APIs.

With Apiary's collaboration tools, developers can work together on API projects, ensuring consistency and efficient communication throughout the development process.


  • Easy to use
  • Strong design focus


  • Limited advanced features

7. Insomnia


Insomnia is a lightweight and user-friendly API testing tool that simplifies the process of testing and debugging APIs.

With its clean interface, support for environment variables, and code generation capabilities, Insomnia makes it easy to send requests, inspect responses, and streamline API testing workflows.

It also supports GraphQL, making it a versatile tool for working with modern API architectures.


  • Simple and clean interface
  • Supports GraphQL


  • Limited team collaboration features

8. Hoppscotch


Hoppscotch is an open-source API development tool that offers a minimalistic interface and support for various API protocols, including REST, GraphQL, and WebSocket.

Its real-time API testing capabilities, lightweight footprint, and open-source nature make it an attractive choice for developers who value simplicity and customisability in their API development workflow.


  • Lightweight and fast
  • Open-source


  • Limited advanced features

9. Stoplight


Stoplight is a collaborative API design and documentation platform that emphasises seamless integration with version control systems like Git.

It supports OpenAPI and JSON Schema specifications, and offers integrated mocking and testing capabilities.

With Stoplight's collaborative design environment and version control integration, developers can work together on API projects while leveraging familiar development workflows.


  • Collaborative design environment
  • Seamless integration with Git


  • Can be complex for beginners

Wrapping up…

APIs are essential for building modern, interconnected software applications. The right tools can make a huge difference when creating and managing APIs.

The 9 free tools covered - Postman, SwaggerHub, Apigee, RapidAPI, Azure API Management, Apiary, Insomnia, Hoppscotch, and Stoplight - offer powerful features for designing, testing, documenting, and managing APIs, no matter your skill level or project size.

Whether you're a solo developer or on a team, working on small projects or something massive, these tools provide what you need to create functional, well-documented, secure and scalable APIs.

Instead of struggling with API development, try out a few of these tools based on your specific needs.

The right tools will streamline your workflow and help you deliver great APIs that power amazing digital experiences.

Happy building!

From your fellow ever-growing dev,

Cherlock Code

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