API documentation plays an important role for a good developer experience. However, API documentation is mostly an afterthought when APIs are rapidly updating, resulting in no synchronization between the newer APIs and their documentation. For this purpose, APIMatic offers a docs as code solution which allows the users to provide all aspects of API documentation as part of the code.
Understanding the Docs as Code Workflow
Docs as code is an approach to treat the documentation as a connected part of the code and write it using the same tools and processes that developers use for their daily coding activities. This practice allows the developers and writers to engage in a collaborative environment where everyone is able to write, update and publish documentation on their own.
Treating documentaion as code practically means:
- Working in plain text files
- Using static site generators to build files
- Storing documentation using version control system such as Git
- Updating documentation by collaborating with other teams using pull requests
- Publishing documentation using CI/CD processes
Benefits of Using Docs as Code
To keep API documentation synchronized with constant API updates, adopting a docs as code approach elevates the documentation writing experience in the following ways:
- Faster API documentation updates allows all team members to update any change and publish it automatically without any dependance.
- Smaller feeback loops gives team members the leverage to deploy feature branches, preview changes and then gather relevant feedback.
- Increased collaboration between all team members makes it easier to contribute towards updating API documentation by working on the same repositories.
- Full version control allows all team members to easily track every change to the documentation and fix bugs super quick by instantly rolling back.
- Working with the familiar tools like GitHub, GitLab, VSCode, etc allows developers to work on known tools without the need to learn any new ones.
APIMatic provides the docs as code offering to generate API Portal through the manual and automated process. Read each section for further details.