Introducing the IATA API Style Guide for the Aviation Industry

Nauman Ali
by Nauman Ali on April 27, 2023 3 min read

Improve your developer experience and interoperability with our new style guide for the airline industry.

We are excited to announce the launch of the IATA Style Guide, a collaboration between Stoplight and the International Air Transport Association (IATA). This public style guide, powered by Spectral within the Stoplight platform, will enable airline industry users to validate and lint their OpenAPI files for REST APIs against the Open Air standards defined by the IATA Open API working group. The IATA Style Guide aims to help customers adhere to the best practices, achieve the IATA certification, and improve the developer experience and interoperability across the airline industry.

To recognize the API provider’s achievement, IATA promotes all the Open Air certified APIs on the airline industry Open API Hub.

Why use the IATA Style Guide?

In today’s rapidly evolving technological landscape, the airline industry must ensure that their APIs are not only robust and efficient but also follow best practices to guarantee seamless communication between systems. The IATA Style Guide will help airline industry users maintain consistency, improve readability, and ensure compliance with the latest OpenAPI best practices and API style guidelines.

What’s included in the IATA Style Guide?

The IATA Style Guide covers two main categories: OpenAPI Best Practices and API Style Guidelines. OpenAPI Best Practices focus on creating better OpenAPI documents for downstream tooling, and API Style Guidelines emphasize good and consistent API design practices for improved readability and maintainability. Here is a quick overview of some of the rules within each category:

OpenAPI Best Practices examples:

  1. Must use HTTPs Protocol
  2. Always use HTTP verbs to define actions
  3. Schema Object must have examples
  4. Always include OpenAPI versions; Use Semantic Versioning
  5. Default Media Type must be application/json
  6. Use recommended OpenAPI tags for API capabilities, e.g. `customer-information-mgnt`, `flight-planning`, `passenger-operations`

API Style Guidelines examples:

  1. Paths should be lowercase with hyphen
  2. Schema object names must be pascal case
  3. Schema Property names and Parameter names must be camel cases

How to get started with the IATA Style Guide?

Airline industry users that are on Pro or Enterprise plans of Stoplight can enable the IATA Style Guide within Stoplight with just a single click. Once enabled, users can effortlessly validate and lint their OpenAPI files against the IATA Style Guide.

style guide example

Next, you can design APIs using Stoplight Studio and get validation errors and messages in real time.

apis in stoplight studio

For non-Stoplight users, the IATA Style Guide can be easily exported from the documentation as a Spectral file, allowing you to use open-source Spectral within your CI/CD pipeline.

IATA style guide

Try it For Yourself

The IATA Style Guide is an essential tool for any airline industry professional looking to improve their API development process, increase interoperability, and ensure adherence to best practices. With Stoplight and Spectral working together, users can quickly and easily validate and lint their OpenAPI files against the IATA standards.

We encourage all airline industry professionals to start using the IATA Style Guide today and experience the benefits of improved developer experience and interoperability. Enable the IATA Style Guide within your Stoplight account, or export the Spectral file to use it with your open-source Spectral within your CI/CD pipeline. Start enjoying a more streamlined, efficient API development process today!

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