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StopLight Launches Visual API Design Tools

by Benjamin Young on Mar 01, 2016 |

StopLight has launched a new visual API design tool and cloud service which aims to abstract away various API description specifications into a single interface.

The press release states that the objective is to provide a collaborative interface for APIs that a wider range of business units can contribute to:

Existing tools like Apiary and SwaggerHub require an understanding of specifications such as OAI, RAML, and JSON, StopLight's model-centric approach means a broader range of people working with the API can contribute and extract maximum value.

StopLight's founder, Marc MacLeod told TheNewStack, "My hope is that it becomes a convenient and robust alternative to Swagger UI when one needs a more complete solution."

An early implementer, SendGrid's Matt Bernier said in a company blog post made prior to the launch:

StopLight is not only helping me to do my job more efficiently, it is dead simple to use, and makes the delivery preparations steps of documenting the API easy since the documentation was started before customer validation steps and is updated throughout the process.

The StopLight offering consists of three key components: API Designer, the Prism Proxy, and documentation generators. Currently, documentation can be generated in the OAI (formerly Swagger) and RAML formats.

All three components center around the visual API Designer. These are free to use for individual developers and cost $8 per collaborator per workspace per month. Each workspace can house multiple APIs and receives a 30 day free trial period during which collaborators can try StopLight and test out the collaboration features. Billing and user management is done by the workspace owner.

Beyond the actual API Designer, a core benefit to developers is the Prism Proxy. The proxy configuration files are stored in a simple JSON format which can be downloaded from the Designer. Additionally, the StopLight.io cloud service includes a hosted Prism Proxy which provides the same thing (without the need for local setup) and includes the ability to add pre/post JavaScript middleware. It includes 20,000 Prism Proxy requests per month.

The downloadable version of the Designer and Prism Proxy are currently only available for Mac with Windows and Linux support "coming soon."

StopLight has also launched api-docs.io, a free public service, for rendering OAI and RAML docs via its own documentation system. On every generated documentation set visitors may "Claim" the API via StopLight and download the OAI and RAML output—regardless of the input format used to generate the documentation.

Kin Lane, aka API Evangelist, said in his post about StopLight that, "I feel like it has the potential to shift the landscape pretty significantly, something I haven't seen any API service provider do in a while."

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