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How to Generate and Consume APIs: A Deep Dive into Swagger Codegen and OpenAPI Generator

APIs form the backbone of modern software development, enabling seamless communication between diverse systems. In this technological landscape, the efficiency of API generation and consumption plays a pivotal role. This article will guide you through the realm of code generation tools, focusing on two prominent players: Swagger Codegen and OpenAPI Generator.

Understanding API Code Generation

The conventional approach to crafting APIs involves a meticulous process of defining endpoints, data models, and documentation. Code generation tools, however, introduce an innovative approach. They introduce an innovative methodology automating the generation of API-related code, mitigating manual efforts and ensuring unwavering consistency. Let's delve into the specifics.

1. Introduction to Swagger Codegen

Swagger Codegen is a powerful open-source tool that simplifies API development. It operates based on the Swagger/OpenAPI Specification, allowing developers to define API endpoints using a standardized format.

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1.1. Swagger Codegen Setup

Getting started with Swagger Codegen is straightforward. Begin by installing the Swagger Codegen CLI, providing a seamless command-line interface for code generation.

1.2. Defining APIs with Swagger

Swagger Codegen utilizes the Swagger Specification (now the OpenAPI Specification) to define APIs. This involves creating a Swagger/OpenAPI document that outlines API endpoints, request/response formats, and other essential details.

1.3. Code Generation Process

Execute the Swagger Codegen CLI with the appropriate commands, specifying the language and framework of choice. The tool will then generate boilerplate code, including server stubs, client libraries, and API documentation.

2. Unveiling OpenAPI Generator

OpenAPI Generator, an integral part of the OpenAPI Initiative, shares similar goals with Swagger Codegen. It transforms OpenAPI Specification documents into valuable API-related code artefacts.

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2.1. Setting Up OpenAPI Generator

Begin by installing the OpenAPI Generator CLI, aligning with your development environment. The tool seamlessly integrates into various workflows.

2.2. Crafting APIs with OpenAPI

Similar to Swagger, OpenAPI Generator relies on the OpenAPI Specification. Developers define API structures, endpoints, and data models in a well-structured OpenAPI document.
2.3. Streamlined Code Generation
Execute the OpenAPI Generator CLI, specifying the desired language and framework. Witness the automatic generation of server code, client libraries, and API documentation.

Comparative Analysis: Swagger Codegen vs. OpenAPI Generator

1. Language Support and Extensibility

Swagger Codegen boasts extensive language support, allowing developers to generate code in languages ranging from Java and Python to TypeScript. OpenAPI Generator, however, excels in extensibility, providing a plugin system for custom templates and code generation.

2. Maturity and Community Support

Swagger Codegen, with its legacy as the original code generation tool for Swagger, enjoys robust community support. OpenAPI Generator, a more recent entrant, is rapidly gaining traction and is actively maintained.

3. Documentation Clarity

Swagger Codegen often delivers more polished and user-friendly documentation. OpenAPI Generator's documentation, while comprehensive, might require a bit more navigation.


In the realm of API development, code generation tools like Swagger Codegen and OpenAPI Generator offer unprecedented efficiency. Developers can rapidly prototype APIs, ensuring consistency and reducing the likelihood of errors. The choice between them depends on factors like language support, extensibility needs, and community preference.

Top comments (1)

fdbozzo profile image
Fernando D. Bozzo

I really expected a much more comprehensive comparison about both tools, and not something that can be resumed in "Swagger is more known/documented tool, OpenAPI Generator is a new option".
Really, no setup examples, no feature comparison, no OpenAPI spec support review, nothing. You just named both options and a little more.
I have the exact same info that had before reading the article. It's disappointing.