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Sardar Mudassar Ali Khan
Sardar Mudassar Ali Khan

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Demystifying OpenAPI in ASP.NET Core Web API: A Comprehensive Guide with Examples

Understanding OpenAPI in ASP.NET Core Web API

OpenAPI, formerly known as Swagger, is a widely used specification for building APIs. In ASP.NET Core, it provides a seamless way to document and visualize APIs, aiding developers in better understanding and utilizing API endpoints. In this article, we'll explore the fundamentals of OpenAPI in ASP.NET Core Web API with a detailed example.

What is OpenAPI?

OpenAPI is a specification that describes RESTful APIs. It allows developers to define endpoints, request/response formats, authentication methods, and more in a machine-readable format, typically in JSON or YAML. This specification serves as a documentation tool, enabling developers to understand, test, and interact with APIs effectively.

Integration of OpenAPI in ASP.NET Core Web API

ASP.NET Core simplifies the integration of OpenAPI through the Swashbuckle.AspNetCore library. This library generates OpenAPI specifications automatically from your code and provides a UI for easy exploration of the API.

Step 1: Setting Up a New ASP.NET Core Web API Project

Create a new ASP.NET Core Web API project in Visual Studio or via the command line:

dotnet new webapi -n OpenAPISupportInAspNetCoreWebAPI
cd OpenAPISupportInAspNetCoreWebAPI
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Step 2: Installing Swashbuckle.AspNetCore

Install the Swashbuckle.AspNetCore package via NuGet Package Manager or the .NET CLI:

dotnet add package Swashbuckle.AspNetCore
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Step 3: Configuration

In the Startup.cs file, configure the services and middleware required for OpenAPI:

using Microsoft.OpenApi.Models;
using Swashbuckle.AspNetCore.SwaggerGen;

// Inside ConfigureServices method
services.AddSwaggerGen(c =>
    c.SwaggerDoc("v1", new OpenApiInfo { Title = "OpenAPISupportInAspNetCoreWebAPI", Version = "v1" });

// Inside Configure method
app.UseSwaggerUI(c =>
    c.SwaggerEndpoint("/swagger/v1/swagger.json", "OpenAPISupportInAspNetCoreWebAPI V1");
    c.RoutePrefix = string.Empty; // To access the Swagger UI at the root URL
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Step 4: Documenting API Endpoints

Decorate your controller methods with attributes provided by Swashbuckle.AspNetCore.Annotations to describe the endpoints:

using Microsoft.AspNetCore.Mvc;
using Swashbuckle.AspNetCore.Annotations;

public class SampleController : ControllerBase
    [SwaggerOperation(Summary = "Get a specific item by ID")]
    [SwaggerResponse(200, "Returns the requested item", typeof(ItemModel))]
    [SwaggerResponse(404, "Item not found")]
    public IActionResult Get(int id)
        // Your logic to fetch item by ID
        // Return NotFound() or Ok(item) based on the result

    // Other methods and endpoints similarly annotated
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Step 5: Run and Explore

Run your application and navigate to /swagger in your browser. You'll see a Swagger UI displaying all your API endpoints, descriptions, request/response formats, and the ability to test them directly from the browser.


OpenAPI integration in ASP.NET Core Web API simplifies API documentation and enhances developer experience. With Swashbuckle.AspNetCore, generating and exploring API specifications becomes effortless, promoting API understanding and utilization.

This article covered the basics of integrating OpenAPI in an ASP.NET Core Web API project. Experiment further with authentication, more complex endpoints, and additional OpenAPI features to optimize and enrich your API documentation.

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