Apiary Review

The ability to configure rules to check for consistency has helped

What is our primary use case?

API design (primarily with an API first approach) using API Blueprint and Swagger/Open API notations for both client engagements and open source projects.

How has it helped my organization?

Apiary provides a free tier of the platform which allows a small group of developers to collaborate easily on the design of open source APIs. In addition to this, it provides mock endpoints allowing people to experiment with the API without depending or having to stand up a real backend.

With our clients, using Apiary allows us to very quickly pull together an API definition (particularly when using API Blueprint). The whole API design process for the simpler use cases can be done in a relatively short workshop which makes it a lot easier to agree, publish, version-manage an API definition with suitable documentation. This can then be evolved and enhanced (particularly in the documentation aspects).

With the ability to support Swagger (Open API v2 and introducing/ed support for v3) and API Blueprint makes it a very versatile tool.

What is most valuable?

With our business clients, the ability to configure rules to check for consistency has helped. Integration with GitHub has made version management of specifications very easy. The mock endpoints have been a great enabler.

The ability to work with both API Blueprint and Swagger/OpenAPI notations has made it a lot easier to use a single tool to collaborate. We find API Blueprint helps with less technical audiences, but more established API people use Swagger — so the same tool can be used.

What needs improvement?

  • Validation messages could be a bit clearer.
  • Autocomplete, particularly around open API would be nice, or even the ability to pop up the syntax spec.

For how long have I used the solution?

3+ years

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Very good.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Look at it as a SaaS solution. It has millions of existing users and runs without issue.

Navigating through your APIs if you have 100s of APIs in a single account might get unwieldy from a usability perspective.

How are customer service and technical support?

Very little need to contact them. But they have responded well when making suggestions to them.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

Defining API specs has been a long-standing practice, having used simple word docs, XML schemes being annotated and published on wikis, etc.

I've used SwaggerHub but found it isn't as intuitive, and it's a bit more feature restricted (particularly when using the free tier).

Open API and API Blueprint tooling plugins for Visual Code IDE aren't as nice, although they can (and some do) leverage the open-sourceh code developed for parts of Apiary

How was the initial setup?

As a cloud service, it's very easy to register and get started.

What about the implementation team?


What was our ROI?

Vey high - very easy API design with no setup effort

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

So Apiary has a free tier which gives you the fundamental basics. Team and enterprise give you more collaboration and quality tooling, which is nice to have, but not essential.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

See the previous answer.

What other advice do I have?

There is a good integration ecosystem around the product, for example, API Fortress can take an API spec from Apiary and generate test cases. APIMatic hooks in. There is a bit of overlap with APIMatic, but it is a more expensive product.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Public Cloud

If public cloud, private cloud, or hybrid cloud, which cloud provider do you use?

**Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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