Optic Blog

Introducing the Optic API Designer

Most programmers work with APIs on a daily basis. And while there’s been an explosion of API tooling the last several years, very few teams have solid workflows for designing APIs, enforcing standards, keeping their specs up to date, and generating / deploying SDKs. We’ve seen massive benefits on teams who have built solid tooling that makes developing and consuming their internal APIs seamless. It’s time to take the best techniques, wrap them in a great developer experience and make them open source and widely available.

So today, we’re launching Optic, a toolchain for building consumable APIs. It is open source and backed by YCombinator (the project is maintained by Optic YC S18). We imagine a world where developing and consuming APIs is seamless. Publishing new versions of an API should be as easy as ‘api publish’ and consuming a new API should never be harder than running ‘api consume our-api’. It’s time to automate all the connections between systems so programmers can spend their time on the problems that matter most.

There is a lot of work to be done to achieve this vision, so we decided the best place to start was at the beginning: improving API design.

Launching Designer (Beta)

The Optic Designer, is visual tool for designing and documenting RESTful APIs. We spent a lot of time exploring similar tools and crafted a developer experience that we feel brings out the best of each. The Designer is independently useful and you can try it today.

  • Build API Specs 10x faster
  • Designer is built with collaboration at its core. We’ll soon be launching Google-drive style suggestions, commenting, etc to make the process of gathering requirements and designing an API more collaborative
  • Compatible with OpenAPI 3 / Swagger 2
  • Open Source + Runs 100% locally (data can live in your repo)
  • Simple, and easy to use in both Design and Documentation modes.
  • Built on top of the Optic Spec — a CQRS/event-sourced representation of OpenAPI. This means we can accommodate features that have been hard for other tools to support. It becomes easy to build things like: automatic change-logs, spec diffing, Google-drive style suggestions/approvals, and linters that enforce your team’s API conventions.

You can try out Designer with one of these popular developer facing APIs:
Or upload your own OAS spec
We hope you find our work both interesting and valuable. We’re really excited to hear your feedback. We’d love to hear your thoughts on what we should prioritize next. Thanks! — Optic Contributors