Introducing Component Libraries: Buh-Bye to Duplication & Inconsistencies in Your APIs

Bailey Gannett
by Bailey Gannett on February 22, 2023 5 min read

For more on Component Libraries, join our webinar on August 3rd.

The proliferation of APIs means more developers working together, more APIs being created, and new challenges in maintaining consistency and avoiding duplication across their API programs. Unless you have proper governance in place, it may be tricky to ensure all your stakeholders are working with the same information. Human error can lead to inconsistencies, duplicated efforts, and an overall poor developer experience.

Whether you’re a small start-up trying to quickly onboard new developers or a large enterprise seeking scale quickly–these challenges can become even more pronounced. That’s why Component Libraries were created in Stoplight–to give you easy plug-and-play models to help you build your APIs quickly.

Now available for Pro and Enterprise accounts in Beta, Component Libraries are a powerful feature that streamlines API development by promoting consistency and reuse. Now, your team can quickly share JSON schema models across different APIs to save time, avoid errors, and stop duplication efforts.

With Component Libraries, users will be able to create a design library project, create models, share them across different projects, consume models in API designs, and receive updates with a visual diff.

component libraries example

As a sneak peek, in the coming months after Component Libraries are available for general release, you will eventually have masking available in your Stoplight Workspace. Masking will allow one to reuse a model or change it, giving greater opportunity for reuse and flexibility when designing APIs. The Beta release will allow for model creation and usage, but the ability to tweak a model won’t be available until later.

Here are a few of the benefits you’ll see when utilizing Component Libraries:

  • Increased Consistency: By sharing JSON schema models across different APIs, your entire team will be working on the same models with the same standards and conventions, avoiding human error.
  • More Reuse: Everyone loves the DRY method (Don’t Repeat Yourself), and developers love the ability to reuse quickly and easily without needing to make the same thing from scratch over and over again. The ability to share components across different APIs encourages reuse, reducing the amount of time and effort required to develop new APIs.
  • Enhanced Efficiency: The visual diffs for outdated models and notifications for updates make it easy for API companies to identify and resolve any issues, improving the efficiency of API development. You can get notified quickly when changes are made and review them for yourself to stay up-to-date.
  • Improved Collaboration: Sharing components across different APIs encourages collaboration, making it easier for API teams to work together and achieve their goals. Quickly train up a new developer to understand your conventions and standards easily with predetermined models.

Who’s this for?

New Developers

For smaller teams or for the bigger team with little time, you can onboard your new developers with ease. New teammates can learn your API design process much easier and get started quickly. With models available, they can get a good idea of your standards and conventions with your code. Save valuable time that would’ve been spent getting your new teammates up to speed!

API Program Leaders and Product Managers

For the product managers and program leaders out there spending their days creating the API designs within Stoplight, you no longer have to worry about creating further models once you’ve gone through the process. Take ease in the fact that your developers can easily plug and play with those models and follow your design conventions with ease. This feature will save you time and questions down the line!

Plus you can eliminate the back-and-forth of gathering your whole team in a room to discuss what changed in the models. Instead, they will receive notifications about the changes in their Workspace and can utilize the Visual Diff to understand what changes were made. You can choose when to update the workflow, and your developers can choose when to access those changes.

API Designers and Developers

For those on the consumption or development side, Component Libraries make it easier to create, replicate, and adhere to the standards set by your team. You can also stay updated on the latest changes made to the models and get notifications instead of having to track down the teammate that made the changes to discuss.

Component libraries also allow for asynchronous work, allowing teammates to work independently and update workflows on their own time. This benefits teams working in different time zones or geographical locations–ensuring everyone can remain on the same page.

But, wait — there’s more!

Component Libraries also provide visual diffs for outdated models and notifications for updates, allowing users to quickly identify changes and opt into updates.

visual diff screenshot

To really blow your governance program out of the water, the best practice would be combining Component Libraries with our Style Guides feature. This ensures maximizing of standards, conventions, and reuse across your Workspace–improving developer experience all around.

In the end, our new Component Libraries Beta feature helps create models, share them, and consume them easily with Component Libraries. You can give it a try for yourself today by logging into your account if you’re on a Pro or Enterprise Workspace. If you have feedback for our Beta, let us know here.

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