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10+ API Documentation Tools For Super Busy Developers ๐Ÿ‘ฉโ€๐Ÿ’ป

Looking for the best API Documentation tools? Then here we will discuss some of the best API tools that will help you boost your workflow.

But let's first know what API is and how it can be helpful to you?

What is An API?

Well, API Stands for Application processing interface. It acts as a conduit for information flow across computer systems, enabling access to, interaction with, and the extraction of data and features from, an organization.

In summary, APIs enable you to expand resource access while preserving security and control. You decide who gets access and how you give it out.

APIs are divided into three categories:

  • Private or internal APIs: focus on the internal operations of an enterprise
  • Partner APIs: support integrations with select partners and customers
  • Public APIs: exposed openly to the public

Now, let's check how do APIs work.

How do APIs work?

API Work

Credit: AltexSoft

Well, APIs enable communication between your service or item as well as other items and services without having you comprehend how they are made. The process of developing an app might be sped up and made cheaper. APIs promote innovation by enabling flexibility, streamlining design, management, and use, whether managing existing products or tools or developing new ones.

In simple terms, APIs are a straightforward method for connecting your own infrastructure through the creation of cloud-native apps, but they also let you share your data with customers and other 3rd parties.

Let's understand how the API works through the relevant example.

Examples To Understand the Working of An API.

API Example

Consider yourself a customer at a restaurant. The waiter (the API) acts as a go-between for customers like you (the user) and the kitchen (webserver/system). You place your order with the waiter (API call), and the waiter requests it from the kitchen. Finally, the waiter will bring you what you requested.

Another example is Online flight booking. When you use an airline's website to make a flight reservation, it collects your data like departure city, date, arrival city, arrival date, passenger class, as well as other options. Here, you conduct a database search to determine whether any seats are still available on the desired dates and their associated costs.

Now, consider you're using an online travel service like GoIbibo, Expedia, or MakeMytrip, which compiles data from multiple airline databases. Here, the travel service interacts with the firm's API in this case to collect the data and relays it back to you, displaying the most recent, pertinent information.

Advantages of Using API:

  • Boosts productivity
  • Cost friendly
  • Improves connectivity and collaboration
  • Stimulates inventiveness
  • increases consumer satisfaction
  • Betters marketing
  • Gathers information for intelligence analysis
  • Creates additional chances for income

What Is AN API Documentation Tool?

An API documentation tool is a type of technical guide that explains how to use an API. It also offers guidance on how to use and integrate the API successfully. Besides, it informs users of changes to the API's lifespan, such as new versions or its demise.

API documentation ensures that other parties (both internally and outside) know what to do with those APIs once they've been published.

It's a developer's guidebook that explains the purpose and benefits of APIs.

Now, let's check the advantages of using API Documentation tools.

Advantages of Using API Documentation Tools:

Following are some of the detailed advantages of using API Documentation Tools.

  • Easy integration with other software and systems
  • On-premises and cloud capabilities
  • Easy creation and publication
  • Strong API monitoring capabilities
  • Effective API lifecycle control

You may now know how vital it is to use the API and API Documentation Tools. So, here we have gathered the best 15+ API Documentation Tools that will help you manage your API.

Let's check them out.

The Best API Documentation Tools For Developers To Use

By presenting everything in simple terms, API documentation aims to minimize that curve. The time and effort required to implement integrations for novice to experienced users are reduced by excellent documentation, which makes API onboarding considerably simpler.

Following are some of the best API documentation tools that you can check & choose the best one for you after prioritizing your needs & requirements.

Swagger UI (Free)

API Documentation Tools Swagger UI

First one in the list for creating API documentation is SwaggerUI by Smartbear. It is completely free to use. API consumers may easily comprehend the API by rapidly checking which endpoints carry out which functions using SwaggerUI. Without developing the logic, you can interact with the API using SwaggerUI.

SwaggerUI, in contrast to other tools, provides a single-column display where everything is succinctly explained in a collapsible bar form. The most recent OpenAPI v3 is supported by and is well-maintained by SwaggerUI. Furthermore, It makes it possible to build API documentation in a variety of forms, including JSON, YAML, and markdown, making it simpler for anybody to modify.

Key Features:

  • Dynamic API Documentation
  • API Mocking
  • Hosted API Documentation
  • Import Your API Documentation

Pricing:

Why Use Swagger UI?

  • Swagger UI is an excellent option for large teams looking to scale their API development efforts.

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RapidDoc (Free)

API Documentation Tools Rapidoc

RapiDoc's API documentation tools and UI interfaces are among the best. Many people like its capacity to display object models. This interface is structured similarly to SwaggerUI, with a single column and foldable bars. Each bar has a console and the JSON payloads that go with it.

It supports two separate layouts: tabular and tree. Both are appropriate for large and small schema representations with object/array folding. Also, it includes a built-in markdown rendering engine, which improves your API documentation even more by integrating markdown syntax. It allows you to change the theme, colour, user interface, and font of your documents. There is also an option to include external HTML code on the page.

Key Features:

  • Supports Swagger 2.0 & OpenAPI 3. x.x
  • Intuitive User Interface
  • Powerful Branding Functionalities
  • Fast Performance

Pricing:

  • RapidDoc is free to use (MIT Licence)

Why use Rapidoc?

  • Without having to pay for ongoing doc maintenance, RapidDoc provides everything you need to build up your API documentation.

DapperDox (Free)

API Documentation Tools DapperDox

DapperDox is an Open-Source API documentation tool designed to improve the quality and usability of the API documentation provided to other developers. It offers a rich, out-of-the-box representation of your OpenAPI specifications, which can be effortlessly coupled with your GitHub Flavoured Markdown documentation, tutorials, and diagrams.

You can use GitHub Flavoured Markdown to connect OAS 2.0 and OAS 3.0 with its OpenAPI requirements (GFM). Users can experiment with the many document features offered by using the API explorer in the tool's UI. It also allows you to document many API specifications as a suite of products and cross-reference them as needed, as well as select themes to present your papers in various formats.

Key Features:

  • Open API
  • Multiple specifications
  • Author in markdown
  • API Explorer
  • Site integration
  • Multi theme

Pricing:

  • Free to use (GPL 3.0 Licence)

Why use Dapperdox?

  • This online API documentation tool is ideal for putting out a complete set of documentation, including clear instructions and API requirements.

Stoplight

Stoplight

Stoplightโ€™s REST API documentation tool enables you to create and host API documentation online. With this tool, you can combine OAS with Markdown to create interactive API documentation and share it internally or externally with the public. You can include quick start guides, tutorials, and code examples generated from dozens of languages, including JavaScript, Python, and Java.

A major advantage of this RESTful API documentation tool is that you can host your documentation on Stoplight. This not only means you donโ€™t have to worry about managing servers yourself โ€” it also means you can easily manage access control and measure analytics with integrations.

Key Features:

  • Visual API Design with OAS and JSON Schema
  • Interactive and User-friendly Documentation
  • API Mocking for Development and Testing
  • Code Generation for Client SDKs and Server Code
  • Collaborative Editing and Review
  • Version Control (Git) Integration
  • Automated API Testing
  • API Governance and Guidelines Enforcement
  • API Monitoring for Performance and Errors
  • CI/CD Integration for Automated Deployment

Pricing:

  • Free trial 14 days
  • Basic: $39/month for 1st 3 users, $9/additional user
  • Start-up: $99/month for 1st 8 users, $9/additional user
  • Pro Team: $319/month for 15 Users, $19/additional user
  • Enterprise: Custom pricing

Why use Stoplight?

  • Stoplight streamlines API development, documentation, and testing. It makes it easier to create, maintain, and collaborate on APIs efficiently.

OpenAPI Generator (Free)

API Documentation Tools OpenAPI Generator

One of the most often used open-source libraries for using an OAS file is OpenAPI Generator. The purpose of it is to produce documentation for OAS 2.0 and OAS 3.0 papers. These documents can be altered using options, unique templates, and unique generators on your classpath.

This API documentation tool can automatically produce API documentation from source code. Java, Node.js, Python, PHP, Ruby, and NET are just a few of the many programming languages and frameworks it supports.

Key features:

  • 50 client generators
  • Create server stubs for more than 40 different programming languages and frameworks, such as Java, Go, Kotlin, and PHP.
  • Special Schema generators
  • OpenAPI documents
  • Supports many different integrations and use cases

Pricing:

  • Free for use (Apache Licence 2.0)

Why use Open API Generator?

  • This online API documentation tool stands out for its variety of documentation formats, which include HTML and Cwiki. You can provide static documentation to your users by converting OAS papers into HTML or Cwiki formats.

Hoppsoctch (Free)

API Documentation Tools Hoppsoctch

Hoppscotch is a simple, open-source, and cost-free API testing tool. It has more than 53k stars on GitHub. Well, hoppscotch's fundamental value depends on quickly producing and using requests. Although there is no registration necessary to sample the service, it is practical to save the findings in the cloud. It comes in PWA (progressive web application) versions and is accessible through a web app.

Rest, WebSockets, and GraphQL connections are all supported by the user interface provided by Hoppscotch. Hopscotch's Environment and Environment Variable functionality makes it simple to send requests to APIs in various settings. The testing strategy is comparable to Postman, a straightforward code editor for creating JavaScript test cases.

Key Features:

  • Lightweight
  • Fast
  • Server-Sent Events
  • Customizable combinations
  • Instant loading with Service Workers
  • Generate/copy request code snippets for 10+ languages and frameworks

Pricing:

  • Free to use (MIT License)

Why Use HoppScotch?

  • The best tool for applications requiring thorough and agile testing is Hoppscotch.

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Slate (Free)

API Documentation Tools Slate

Slate is a fantastic tool for producing adaptable, insightful, and beautiful API documentation. Its straightforward, customer-friendly, design was influenced by the API documentation for Stripe and PayPal.

Additionally, it divides up the material into sections on the left and coding examples on the right, which looks extremely great and is easily accessible on print, cell phones, and tablets. Slate reduces the amount of content on each page while maintaining linkability, saving you time from having to search through countless pages. Linking to a specific place in your documentation is never challenging because the hash updates to the closest header when someone scrolls through.

In addition, Slate automatically hosts its generated API documentation on GitHub. It suggests that you can use GitHub pages to host all of your papers for free. For languages like Arabic, Hebrew, Persian, and others, Slate additionally provides RTL (Right-To-Left) support. By selecting the green "Use this template" button and then adhering to the directions, you can easily get started with Slate.

Key Features:

  • RTL Support
  • Let your users update your documentation for you
  • Write code samples in multiple languages
  • Out-of-the-box syntax highlighting
  • No configuration is required.
  • Multilingual Support

Pricing:

  • Free for use (Apache Licence 2.0)

Postman (The best)

Postman API Documentation Tools

Postman is the world's most widely used API development platform with over 20 million users and 500K businesses. Developers can easily publish their papers quickly and while on the road thanks to Postman's machine-readable API documentation tool. To fill the documentation with machine-readable instructions and live examples. Postman can automatically pull your whole set of sample requests, code snippets, headers, and more. Sharing the API with anybody you like is therefore simple. When you make changes to your collection, it also immediately updates your documentation.

Additionally, you can instantly share your collection. To enable anyone to import your collection with just one click, embed the Run in Postman button on your documentation page or any other website. Postman's commenting tool is one of its great features. Through comments and code reviews, it enables communication between you and your team. To give your users the finest documentation possible, you may quickly organize and alert your team members to updates or problems.

Key Features:

  • Auto Updates
  • Machine-readable Documentation
  • Powerful Collaboration Tools
  • The "Run in Postman" Button

Pricing:

  • Free
  • Basic ($12/mo/user)
  • Professional ($29/mo/user)
  • Enterprise ($99/mo/user)

Why use Postman?:

  • Postman is one of the most popular API management platforms both for individual developers and large teams. The API documentation tool is well-polished and can be easily integrated into virtually any ecosystem.

SwaggerHub

Swaggerhub

With the aid of the robust visual tool SwaggerHub, API providers can build interactive documentation for their APIs and see how the contract will function before incorporating it into any code. This program is made to expedite and streamline API documentation. You can more easily achieve compliance with OpenAPI Specifications (OAS) by using the API editor.

Also, SwaggerHub allows you to quickly bring high-quality APIs to market by using it as your sole source of truth for API definitions. When designing your APIs, you can also automatically generate interactive documentation that will make it simple for internal users and API consumers to understand and utilize your APIs.

Key Features:

  • Facilitate Your API Lifecycle
  • Secure, API Collaboration
  • Hosted, Interactive API Documentation
  • Faster, Standardized API Design

Pricing:

  • Free
  • Team (Starts from $90/mo)
  • Enterprise (a custom quote)

Why Use SwaggerHub?

  • SwaggerHub has you covered with a variety of easy-to-use connections, whether it's pushing your API's design and code to source-control hosts, installing API-to-API management platforms, or initiating your Jenkins build.

Redocly

Redocly API Documentation Tools

With the Redocly API documentation tool, users can employ a broad variety of extensions. Also, this contains a GitHub repository integration, access to code samples, and the project logo URL. The React JS-based API documentation tool is available in both free and premium versions. Additionally, it has a CLI that provides access to all Open API definitions. It can be used by individuals and small teams even though it was first created for major corporations.

Redocly's user roles, try-it authentication, and other security features allow you to further ensure that your team is working effectively and safely together. Preview functionality is another distinctive feature. To make sure your changes are evaluated and debated before pushing to production, you can preview each branch and pull requests.

Key Features:

  • Responsive three-panel design with synchronized menu and scrolling.
  • Several choices for deployment.
  • Ready for server-side rendering (SSR).
  • The capability of adding your API introduction to the side menu.
  • Create-react-app integration is straightforward.
  • Using a command-line interface, you may combine all of your documents into a single HTML file.
  • The documentation for nested objects is neatly interactive.

Pricing:

  • Free
  • Basic (Starts at $69/mo 2 users)
  • Professional (Starts at $300/mo 3 users)
  • Enterprise (a custom quote)

ReadMe

ReadME API Documentation tools

Trusted by more than 2500 leading developer experience teams, ReadMe is another favourite among many developers. ReadMe turns static API documentation into interactive developer hubs that are updated in real-time. Additionally, the application contains a number of features that make it simple to create simplified papers. Developers can read through your instructions to see what is possible before jumping right into the Try It playground to make their first call.

With the strength and ease of a drag-and-drop editor, Readme enables you to build stunning, interactive API documentation. It enables API providers to automatically produce code samples and add API keys directly to the documentation. Developers can easily call genuine APIs thanks to this feature. Furthermore, the following are the key features that ReadMe offers:

Key Features:

  • API Analytics
  • API Explorer
  • Drag & Drop
  • Customization
  • Community Building Tools

Pricing:

  • Free
  • Startup ($99/mo per project)
  • Business ($399/mo per project)
  • Enterprise ($2,000/mo per project)

Why Use ReadME?

  • ReadMe is a specialized API documentation tool that removed a lot of manual work for small teams, helping them focus on building their API.

Theneo

API Documentation Tools Theneo

Theneo is intended to generate documentation in the style of Stripe's documentation, with a vertical table of contents, a dark and light mode toggler, and code examples alongside descriptions. It is an AI program that generates API documentation similar to Stripe. Theneo is similar to sitting next to a technical writer. You put your API library online (JSON, YAML, etc.).

Theneo examines and loads API requests, methods, endpoints, request bodies, parameters, etc. automatically. Then it does quality checks (such as looking for grammatical problems) and provides you with content recommendations for the section titles and descriptions. API docs developed by Theneo are user-friendly, stylish, and interactive.

Key Features:

  • You do not have to be a developer to edit the API content, the web editor makes it easy for anyone to make changes
  • Tracks change
  • Converts all of your API requests into multiple languages
  • Controls user management
  • Tracks user engagement
  • Tracks user feedback
  • Gives content suggestion

Pricing:

  • Basic ($20/mo per editor)
  • Business ($45/month per editor)
  • Enterprise (a custom quote)

Rapid API for Mac - Formally known as Paw Cloud

RapidAPI API Documentation Tools

Rapid API is a fully functional HTTP client that allows you to test and documentation of the APIs you are creating or using. To compose queries, examine server answers, produce program code, and extract API definitions, it provides a stunning native macOS interface.

Additionally, you can visually construct your API queries and textually specify each argument through type, restrictions, and descriptions. Rapid API can ingest and produce Swagger, RAML, and API Architecture description files that are fully compliant and natively supports JSON Schema. Furthermore, it is ideal for browsing hypermedia APIs

Key Features:

  • Simple to use
  • With MAC, it functions well.
  • Advanced support for cookies
  • Extremely trustworthy and safe.
  • It's a fantastic tool for API testing with trustworthy data analysis.
  • Enables quick installation and request customization
  • RapidAPI for Mac has its own HTTP library
  • Migrate your API calls seamlessly from curl, Postman or Advanced Rest Client, and be up and running with RapidAPI

Pricing:

  • Starts at $49
  • Student discount available

Apigee

Apigee API Documentation Tools

Apigee API Management is designed for Affiliate Apps, Client Apps, Cloud Applications, Systems of Record, Staff Apps, and IoT. Safety, statistics, administration, run-time commercialization, conciliation, tracking, and a developer gateway are all included. The cross-cloud API management platform is what Apigee calls itself. You can create API proxies: RESTful, HTTP-based APIs that communicate with your services using Apigee. Developer productivity can increase and your time to market can be accelerated with the use of simple APIs.

All of Apigee's API platform's features, such as the ability to protect API calls, throttle traffic, relay messages, regulate error handling, cache data, establish developer interfaces, document APIs, evaluate API traffic data, commercialize the use of your APIs, and many more are covered. Furthermore, y your APIs can be hosted locally, in Cloud Storage, or in a hybrid cloud environment with Apigee Hybrid. You may position the gateways adjacent to your API data, take advantage of your present regulation, administration, and security architecture, and use cloud capabilities like statistics, surveillance, and developer portals because the runtime is under your control and management.

Key Features:

  • Service creation
  • API key management
  • Role-based access control (RBAC)
  • Data transformation

Pricing:

  • Free:
  • Team ($500/month)
  • Business ($2500/month)

Stats of API:

As per report, API spending raised by 37% in 2022.

API report

Credit: Gartner

API-driven open computing has enabled some of today's most significant internet triumphs, including the Amazon supply chain, the Salesforce Cloud, and LinkedIn. APIs account for 83 percent of web traffic.

As per the report, Over 62.6% of developers reported relying on APIs more in 2022 than they did in 2021. Additionally, 69.2% expect to rely on APIs even more in 2023.

State of API

Credit: StateofAPI

So, the thing is the State of API is continuously rising and the demand will keep growing. That's why one should not ignore the importance of APIs.

Conclusion:

Well, A portion of the process of developing and managing API documentation can be made simpler and even automated with the aid of a tool. As a result, it may take less time to provide API documentation that is easier to read, more interactive, and uniform in appearance across APIs.

You need to thoroughly document the API you just created unless you're the only one using it. There are probably many choices you made during the service's design and development that outside developers might not be aware of. As a result, using your API for the first time has an extremely steep learning curve.

The main objective of API documentation is to decrease that arc by understandably presenting everything. Excellent documentation makes API onboarding much easier, it reduces the time and effort involved in performing integrations for beginner consumers to advanced consumers.

Any of the API documentation tools above can help you create online API documentation thatโ€™s interactive, user-friendly, and easy to maintain. The right tool for you will align with your unique needs and budget so make sure you understand your must-haves and nice-to-haves when evaluating.

We hope this collection helps you out with choosing the right API documentation tool.

Top comments (21)

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rlgino profile image
Gino Luraschi

It looks interesting and very detailed information about distinct APIs, I'll follow your article to record a YouTube video (in spanish) to walk through every API and show the use of every one. Thanks ๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿฝ

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dannysheridan profile image
Danny Sheridan

It is exciting to see API documentation getting more user-friendly and easier to maintain automatically.

Have you checked out Fern (buildwithfern.com)?

-> Fern is an API documentation provider that generates Stripe-quality docs that can be styled to fit a company's brand. Here's an example of documentation built with Fern!

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theme_selection profile image
ThemeSelection

Hey Danny,
Thanks for your suggestion. We will defiantly add Fern in the list.

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adriens profile image
adriens

Very nice post. I've discovered some I never heard about, but did not see redocly which helps also a lot for example to generate static documentation as part of CI pipeline.

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theme_selection profile image
ThemeSelection

Hi Adriens,
It is already mentioned in the list right after the SwaggerHub.

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adriens profile image
adriens • Edited

Oups, sorry I did not see it ;-p : did you also consider to add a tabular benchmark so we could compare them based on common crteria ?

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d3bug3xploit profile image
Yamil

Excellent post :)

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theme_selection profile image
ThemeSelection

Hi Yamil,
Thanks a lot for your appriciation. It means a lot to us. ๐Ÿ‘

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ajaypatel_aj profile image
Ajay Patel

Indeed great collection and informative post!

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theme_selection profile image
ThemeSelection

We are glad that you find our collection informative.
Thank you very much for your appreciation. ๐Ÿ™‚

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femi_dev profile image
Femi Akinyemi

This is Awesome! Thanks for sharing

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theme_selection profile image
ThemeSelection

We are glad that you find our collection awesome.
Thank you very much for your appreciation. ๐Ÿ™‚

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devkiran profile image
Kiran Krishnan

Have you checked Mintlify ?

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theme_selection profile image
ThemeSelection

Thanks for the Suggetion.
We will check it for sure.

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lornajane profile image
Lorna Jane Mitchell

Thanks for the detailed roundup!

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theme_selection profile image
ThemeSelection

Hey Lorna,
We are glad that you find this post helpful.

Your appriciation means a lot to us.
Thank you very much. ๐Ÿ‘

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valeryxs profile image
Valeryxs

Very intresting post

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theme_selection profile image
ThemeSelection

We are glad that you find our collection interesting.
Thank you very much for your appreciation. ๐Ÿ™‚

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sebastian11 profile image
Sebastian

It's great! I just found an awesome new API doc tool called Apidog that lets you visually edit and test docs. It's free to try and has improved my efficiency when working with APIs. Hope this tool is useful to you.

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christophedujarric profile image
Christophe Dujarric

Hey! Would love your feedback on bump.sh โค๏ธ