The Workflows Specification - The missing piece of the API puzzle?

A presentation at APIDays Paris in in Paris, France by Frank Kilcommins

Learn about the API Workflows Specification, developed under the OpenAPI Initiative, which complements current specifications, including OpenAPI and AsyncAPI. The new specification enables the ability to define and document workflows, a series of API calls, that together accomplish a specific business objective.

This provides a deterministic recipe for using APIs and enables code generation tooling for a given API based on use-cases. Additionally, the specification improves regulatory checks and bridges gaps where use-case flows span multiple API descriptions.

In general, there’s enormous potential to enhance the developer experience (DX) and API documentation by enabling graphical rendering of workflows. The specification also improves human understanding of how to consume API endpoints to achieve a specific goal.

Workflow descriptions can stay up-to-date and be assertable against the underlying APIs. This reduces the need for out-of-band documentation sharing, reduces the time and effort required to implement complex workflows, and automates testing and other repetitive tasks.

Overall, the Workflows Specification improves the capability of API specifications to tell the story of the API in a manner that improves interoperability across industries.