An OpenAPI Spec For A Building Permits API
24 Aug 2016
One of the reasons why crafting API definitions like OpenAPI Spec for our APIs, and openly sharing them on the web, is so that the pattern will get used, and reused by other API providers. That might sound scary to some companies, but really that is what you want--your API design used across an industry. Your API definition is not your IP, it is the magic behind your API, and the way you approach all the supporting elements around your API operations.
There are numerous industries where I'd like to see a common API definition emerge, and get reused, and one of the more obvious ones is in the area of building permits. Open Permit has shared their API definition, by publishing the OpenAPI Spec to drive their Swagger UI documentation. This is a great example of an API definition that should be emulated across the industry because the money to be made is not around the API design, but the portion of our economy that the API will fuel when it is in operation.
Can you imagine if all cities, contractors, and vendors who service the construction industry could put APIs to use, and even better, put common patterns to use? If you have ever tried to build something residential or commercial and had to pull a permit, you understand. This is one industry where APIs need to be unleashed, and we need to make sure we share all possible API definitions so that they can get used, and we aren't ever re-inventing the wheel.