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Announcing the API Specifications Conference (ASC) Early Bird Submission Deadline

By Blog

The third API Specifications Conference (ASC) will take place on September 28th and 29th. This year as part of the call for proposals we’re going to be accepting and announcing five talks early. In order to have your talk considered, you need to have your submission in by May 28th, 11:59pm PDT. 

The early bird submission will give you advance notice to prepare for your talk and your talk will be announced before the full schedule is announced. 

Submit your talk at: https://sessionize.com/api-specifications-conference-2021/

Early bird deadline: May 28th, 11:59pm PDT

Regular deadline: June 11, 11:59pm PDT

We will notify any speakers who have an early bird submission accepted within two weeks after the deadline. 

If you need help or advice for your submissions, please contact speakers@openapis.org. If you are a first-time and/or underrepresented speaker, we especially want to help you submit a talk and are available to help you work through talk ideas or how to structure your proposal. 

On behalf of the organizing committee,

Taylor Barnett, Program Chair, ASC 2021

Checkly, API Monitoring and Automation, Joins OpenAPI Initiative

By Announcement, Blog

Customer base already heavily utilizing OpenAPI Specification, Checkly “doubling down” on open source with increased contributions to projects like Headless Recorder and monitoring-as-code

SAN FRANCISCO – April 27, 2021 – The OpenAPI Initiative, the consortium of forward-looking industry experts focused on creating, evolving and promoting the OpenAPI Specification (OAS), a vendor-neutral, open description format for RESTful APIs, is announcing today that Checkly has joined as a new member. 

Checkly provides a monitoring and testing platform for developers and modern DevOps teams. The Berlin-based company’s cloud platform allows developers to monitor their API endpoints and web apps. Customers can configure fully-fledged HTTP requests with flexible assertions and setup/teardown scripts. To monitor web apps, Checkly runs JavaScript and open-source powered browser checks.The company has also developed the open source Headless Recorder for creating end-to-end testing scripts through a Chrome extension. As a critical initiative, Checkly’s focus is on monitoring-as-code enabled through its public API.

“We are very excited to join the OpenAPI Initiative. Our customers and we are benefitting from standardized APIs. OpenAPI enables our customers to get their API monitoring setup started easily and therefore provides immense benefits in flexibility and openness,” said Hannes Lenke, CEO at Checkly. “We see the opportunity to contribute to the initiative through our day-to-day experiences and want to connect with key players in the field to discuss ideas and network. In 2021 we want to double down on OSS and as part of the initiative joined OpenAPI as we see as a great and natural fit.”

“With the growth of DevOps and microservices, API usage has skyrocketed. Monitoring and testing is key in modern production environments, and OpenAPI documents can really help with the authoring process,” said Marsh Gardiner, Product Manager, Google, and Technical Steering Committee, OpenAPI Initiative. “We look forward to Checkly’s support of the OpenAPI Specification moving forward.”

Checkly raised a $2.25 million seed round led by Accel. Angel investors Instana CEO Mirko Novakovic, Zeit CEO Guillermo Rauch and former Twilio CTO Ott Kaukver, also participated in early funding. For more information, please visit https://www.checklyhq.com/. To learn how to learn how to simplify API monitoring with OpenAPI specs and Checkly visit: https://www.checklyhq.com/guides/openapi-swagger/

OpenAPI Resources

To learn more about participate in the evolution of the OpenAPI Specification: https://www.openapis.org/participate/how-to-contribute

About the OpenAPI Initiative

The OpenAPI Initiative (OAI) was created by a consortium of forward-looking industry experts who recognize the immense value of standardizing on how APIs are described. As an open governance structure under the Linux Foundation, the OAI is focused on creating, evolving and promoting a vendor neutral description format. The OpenAPI Specification was originally based on the Swagger Specification, donated by SmartBear Software. To get involved with the OpenAPI Initiative, please visit https://www.openapis.org

About Linux Foundation

Founded in 2000, the Linux Foundation is supported by more than 1,000 members and is the world’s leading home for collaboration on open source software, open standards, open data, and open hardware. Linux Foundation projects like Linux, Kubernetes, Node.js and more are considered critical to the development of the world’s most important infrastructure. Its development methodology leverages established best practices and addresses the needs of contributors, users and solution providers to create sustainable models for open collaboration. For more information, please visit us at linuxfoundation.org.

ASC 2021 Call For Proposals!

By Blog

After a successful virtual event last year, we are back again this fall. Mark your calendar for the return of the API Specifications Conference (ASC), this year as an all-digital event on September 28th and 29th, 9:00 am – 3:00 pm PDT. 

ASC 2021 will include keynotes, sessions, and open discussions on specifications and standards behind the cutting-edge technologies that chart the future of APIs. And we want to hear your talk proposals!

We are looking for talks that range from beginner introductions to API specifications through best practices and forward-looking sessions on API specifications and standards, including OpenAPI Specification, gRPC, AsyncAPI, GraphQL, RAML, API Blueprint, oDATA, JSON Schema, and others. We want to hear your talks on how you are using specifications and standards in practice. Topics can include but are not limited to design, testing, security, lifecycle, runtime, governance, and developer experience. In-depth talks and discussions will enable attendees to get familiar with these specifications and standards and how to use them to deliver better API experiences. 

Check out last year’s talks to get an idea of the different kinds of talks we have had in the past: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLcx_iGeB-Nxil4S7-0Y1Y5r0oLahy3f0Y

The Call for Talks is open: 

* Submit your talk: https://sessionize.com/api-specifications-conference-2021/

* Submissions Deadline: June 11, 11:59pm PDT

If you need help or advice for your submissions, please contact speakers@openapis.org. If you are a first-time and/or underrepresented speaker, we especially want to help you submit a talk and are available to help you work through talk ideas or how to structure your proposal. 

We’re looking forward to your proposals and participation that will make ASC 2021 a great event again this year!

On behalf of the organizing committee,

Taylor Barnett, Program Chair, ASC 2021

Leveraging the OpenAPI Specification in Financial Services – The Story of Plaid’s OpenAPI Journey

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Written by Kin Lane, Chief Evangelist, Postman

The complexity of providing financial services to businesses and consumers in today’s business climate is hard to overstate. APIs are a critical component in providing products and services.

Plaid, whose mission is to democratize financial services through technology,  is a company that provides APIs for developers building applications in the fintech space. Plaid’s platform allows applications to connect with users’ accounts at banks and other financial institutions. Consumers and businesses can take advantage of a wide array of Plaid-powered apps to quickly and easily transfer funds, analyze their spending, apply for loans, and more.

Based on the new OpenAPI Specification 3.1.0, Plaid built an API document which allows them to easily release updates to their client libraries (they support five: Ruby, Node, Python, Java, Go). And, they have released an OpenAPI file for auto-generating your own client libraries in your preferred programming language, making it simple for you to auto-generate your own client libraries in over 40 different languages–so you can easily build with Plaid no matter the language you use.

The Journey to OpenAPI

The OpenAPI journey at Plaid did not begin with a single person or team, but was something that grew out of multiple teams with different motivations for why they needed a single machine readable truth to exist for their banking APIs. I recently spoke with Alex Hoffer of the developer relations team at Plaid to learn more about the motivations behind why Plaid chose to use the OpenAPI Specification, but also understand a little about how they arrived where they are at. 

Plaid had recently published their OpenAPI to a GitHub repository , and I thought it was a great opportunity to reach out and talk about their adoption of the OpenAPI Specification and see if they were willing to share their story with us. They were! So thank you to the Plaid team for talking with us, and sharing the details behind how OpenAPI is being applied across API operations at the banking API platform.

Creating Better Documentation More Quickly

Like most API providers, the number one reason Plaid adopted the OpenAPI Specification (OAS) was to deliver documentation for their public API. Plaid’s documentation had been in use for quite some time now, and needed a refresh, so the developer relations team embarked on a complete rewrite, and they wanted to make sure they were able to future proof their documentation so that they could evolve it alongside their API. After researching the situation it was clear that the OpenAPI Specification (OAS) was the most effective way for describing Plaid APIs in a way that would be extensible and allow it to power the current and future state of their banking API documentation. The Plaid team moved forward with a complete reworking of their documentation, and as they were working on delivering a complete OpenAPI for the Plaid API documentation other teams were also putting OpenAPI to work powering their own corner of the Plaid platform.

Delivering Client Libraries

As the developer relations team was working on the Plaid OpenAPI document, their developer experience team was also working understanding how it could also be used to deliver client libraries for the API across multiple programming languages. The developer experience team at Plaid pushes the release of multiple SDKs for the API every two weeks, which is a manual process that takes a significant amount of work and is prone to errors, while also requiring significant expertise in each language required to deliver the best possible SDK. With all this work the developer experience team was very keen on being able to automate as much of the process as possible, but as they got to work on generating SDKs from the OpenAPI they realized that the process would demand a much more robust and complete OpenAPI to deliver all of the details needed for each of the language libraries. Ultimately it took the team five months to deliver a beta set of SDKs that met the team’s expectations, but now they have a much more streamlined approach to delivering SDKs across multiple languages, while also ensuring that the SDK release process is always in alignment with the evolution of API documentation, since they both are driven from the same machine readable truth—the Plaid OpenAPI contract.

JSON Schema Now Available

Beyond developer relations and experience at Plaid, the core services team also caught wind of the OpenAPI that was being used to power documentation and generate client SDKs. The team was interested in the centralization of a machine readable truth for the Plaid API, but were particularly interested in the JSON schema now available to describe the request and response payload for each API. There was anxiety from internal developers when it came to introducing changes to the schema that was used to power the platform, and with limited visibility into what might be a breaking change with any release, developers were left with a lot of questions. With the existence of a central set of JSON Schema definitions now available as part of the OpenAPI, internal developers could now use them to validate as part of pipelines and middleware across the Plaid platform, ensuring that ongoing changes did not update or remove any properties that might introduce errors into the APIs and downstream applications of integrations. Leveraging the central OpenAPI to help make releases more reliable and less stressful for internal developers who were moving the API platform forward with new features and capabilities—reducing friction for the Plaid platform.

Defining Extensions

With the introduction of OpenAPI into the documentation, validation, and delivery of SDKs for the Plaid APIs, there were numerous immediate benefits that the teams were able to take advantage of. However, all three teams quickly began bumping against the limitations of what the OpenAPI Specification was capable of defining. Some of these needs were unique to the way Plaid does things, but other needs resemble many of the common needs you see across other API providers. This didn’t slow the Plaid teams down, and they quickly got to work defining extensions for OpenAPI that would help them define what they needed for documentation but also the very demanding needs of generating SDKs in multiple programming languages. Most notably, they also established an x-plaid- extension that would be used to describe internal schema and capabilities that would be stripped from the OpenAPI anytime the definition would be made available to the Plaid community. This work really helped Plaid realize that the OpenAPI specification really shines when you extend and push the specification to do exactly what you need, allowing the machine readable truth for their API to effectively deliver multiple essential stops along the API lifecycle like documentation, SDK generation, and validation.

Customers Request OpenAPI Specification

The Plaid OpenAPI journey reflects what many OpenAPI adopters have experienced, or are currently experiencing. While there are many motivations for why API providers adopt OpenAPI, the need to power always up to date API documentation and SDKs in a variety of programming languages are the top two. It is a journey that usually begins with the need for providing better documentation, but then as teams realize the same OpenAPI can be used to power other stops along the API lifecycle, they really see the potential of the API specification as a single source of truth or APIs. It is great to hear the story behind why Plaid is using OpenAPI, and hopefully this story provides a look into the “known knowns” of what OpenAPI can do within Plaid, but as I was finishing my conversation with Alex Hoffer, I asked her why they had published their OpenAPI to GitHub—which ultimately was the catalyst for this conversation. She simply said that an OpenAPI was a common request from their customers so they could generate their own libraries for languages they didn’t support, but also after speaking with other leading API Providers in the space, they had mentioned they were surprised by the unique things that their community was doing with their OpenAPI, innovating beyond what internal teams could deliver. Which really gets at the most powerful reasons for providing an OpenAPI for your API community, in that it will enable entirely new approaches to putting your APIs to work, which is really why we are all doing APIs in the first place. OpenAPI is just amplifying this effect and taking things to entirely new levels.

OpenAPI Initiative Welcomes Level 250 as Newest Member

By Announcement, Blog

Level 250 is joining the OpenAPI Initiative! Level 250 is a consulting organization that helps companies large and small improve their Product Strategies around SaaS, APIs and Developer-focused Tools: https://www.level250.com

Level 250 is run by Emmanuel Paraskakis, who has over 20 years of far-reaching experience in Product Management in organizations ranging from early-stage startups to Fortune 500 companies. Paraskakis was VP of Product Management for two of the most important API products in the world: Apiary with API Blueprint (acquired by Oracle) and SwaggerHub (and the Swagger Open Source toolset) which uses OpenAPI.

With that extensive API and product background, we asked Paraskakis about Level 250, implementing the new OpenAPI Specification 3.1.0, and where APIs are headed. We found out about how the requirements of API builders and API consumers are converging, about major improvements in reuse that will help managing scale, helping non-humans (yes), and a lot more!

— Why did Level 250 join OpenAPI Initiative and Why Now?

I have always been involved in OpenAPI, with two previous member companies, Apiary and SmartBear and so it’s part of my background. APIs and OpenAPI are at the center of everything we do at Level 250, so I want to continue to support OpenAPI in any way I can.

What makes this even more relevant today is that OpenAPI is becoming so much more that just one Spec: it’s the place where thinking and collaboration around APIs happens, whether it’s about the original OpenAPI spec, or adjacent specs such as JSON Schema and AsyncAPI, and beyond. I think OAI is becoming a focal point where the requirements of API builders and API consumers are converging. Exciting times!

— What’s the biggest issue with implementing the OpenAPI Specification?

I think the Spec is a wonderful interchange format, a Lingua Franca that most API Tools speak, so you can for example take a document that was meant as a design and reuse it to configure your API Management or your Security tests.

But because it’s become complex, encompassing many use cases, I think it’s difficult to learn and I also think it’s hard to write, for the Design-first use case for example. There are tools that make the process easier, with syntax suggestions or even UI editors, but the underlying complexity remains.

I’d love to see a simpler language that could be written by hand, perhaps leveraging examples, during the ideation and design process, and that could then translate directly into the current Spec for interoperability.

Beyond that, I think we could work more on making modularity and composition easier and also the handling of metadata, discovery and runtime configuration of API Gateways.

— Who should use the OpenAPI Specification 3.1.0?

I think the most exciting news is the full JSON Schema compatibility and support of the latest 2020-12 draft! This allows anyone to describe data structures in more detail and enhances compatibility with external tooling.

Another huge win will be for folks that need to describe Webhooks and they’ve been requesting this for some time.

One of the changes that doesn’t seem to get talked about much is the fact that you don’t _need_ to have a top-level `paths` element, you can just describe `components` and that’s still a valid OpenAPI document. That’s a huge step forward for reuse. So anyone who has lots of OpenAPI documents and is experiencing the pain of repeating information with all the problems that attracts, should be making the jump to 3.1.

— What’s your vision for the future API stack 1-3 years out?

The main problems being encountered today on the API provider side are those of managing scale and decreasing time to market, so I think Specs and various description formats play a huge role by acting as a source of truth for how our services work. I hope to see tooling that uses declarative documents to inform the entire API-building lifecycle, from ideation and design, to building tests, creating deployments on multiple environments and setting up monitoring/analytics tools – all based on the same source of truth!

On the API consumer side, we are still sending developers to documentation that can vary in quality and completeness. Humans are great at dealing with ambiguity and hopefully they’ll reach out when they have a support question. But increasingly services are consumed and discovered by machines, so I hope to see tooling that helps non-humans discover and understand the capabilities of APIs.


OpenAPI Resources

To learn more about participate in the evolution of the OpenAPI Specification: https://www.openapis.org/participate/how-to-contribute

About the OpenAPI Initiative

The OpenAPI Initiative (OAI) was created by a consortium of forward-looking industry experts who recognize the immense value of standardizing on how APIs are described. As an open governance structure under the Linux Foundation, the OAI is focused on creating, evolving and promoting a vendor neutral description format. The OpenAPI Specification was originally based on the Swagger Specification, donated by SmartBear Software. To get involved with the OpenAPI Initiative, please visithttps://www.openapis.org

About Linux Foundation

Founded in 2000, the Linux Foundation is supported by more than 1,000 members and is the world’s leading home for collaboration on open source software, open standards, open data, and open hardware. Linux Foundation projects like Linux, Kubernetes, Node.js and more are considered critical to the development of the world’s most important infrastructure. Its development methodology leverages established best practices and addresses the needs of contributors, users and solution providers to create sustainable models for open collaboration. For more information, please visit us at linuxfoundation.org.

OpenAPI meets SLA

By Blog

This post is authored by Dr. Pedro J. Molina, Founder at Metadev & Member at ISA Group, University of Seville.

The Special Interest Group on SLAs inside OpenAPI is working to create an extension to define Service Level Agreements for API.

The latest work of the group was recently presented to the OpenAPI Technical Steering Committee for feedback and to ensure alignment with general policies.

The SLA4OAI working group needs your help to begin realizing these benefits in practice as an extension to the OpenAPI Specification. This post will explain what an SLA is, why it matters, and how new tooling can help solve important problems faced by all API providers today.

What is an SLA?

SLA is short for Service-Level Agreement, and it defines a set of metrics and constraints regarding service availability, quality of the service like minimal and maximal throughput, latency, quotas, rate-limits, etc.

Such constraints are applied to specific endpoints or operations (resources) inside an API.

These constraints can optionally be grouped in several plans and can have price.

Diagram showing SLA as the starting point with branches to a Plan, which decomposes to Pricing, Availability, Rate, and Quota, and a separate path to Metrics and Resource/Endpoint. The paths converge.
SLA relation to Metrics, Constraints, and Plans

The problem to solve

The API industry adopted OpenAPI to move from an informal to a formal definition of APIs that can be consumed by humans for documentation and machines for automation. 

In the same way, commercial APIs often have an SLA described in informal language published over HTML pages or PDF docs, hardly usable by machines.

Therefore, a need for a standard to help to describe SLAs is pretty clear.

Use Cases with APIs

Having a standard format to describe SLAs for APIs will enable the following Use Case scenarios, to cite a few:

  1. SLA Documentation: to describe the limits, rates, quotas and expected availability, and how they apply to different endpoints.
  2. Description of Plans and prices: explaining different usage plans and costs.
  3. Feature and Cost comparison based on (2): allowing the comparison of alternative APIs based on availability and quality features.
  4. SLA Testing tools: to check if a given limit is applied by the API as documented.
  5. SLA Measure: to check the metrics are inline with the SLA contract declared.
  6. SLA Enforcing: to implement quotas and limits as a middleware for an API.
  7. SLA compliance tracking (globally or per user): to measure the degree of real compliance of an API with the SLA respect to the theoretical one.
  8. Automatic calculation of combined SLA for composed services. Several API can be used together to create complex services. SLA properties for the composition can be derived from the expected SLA from the simple components.
  9. Easy setup of SLAs in API Middleware tools. Some Middleware tools provide features to implement SLA concepts like metrics,  limits, quotas, rate limits, etc. Having a standard & formal way to define it will simplify the initial configuration of such features.

Current Specification

After months of work the Special Interest Group (SIG) generated the consensus to create a minimal version 1.0 for people to start using and for providing feedback.

You can take a look at the complete SLA specification.

Early feedback, roadmap, and open issues

SLAs definitions have an entity per se to be described in an stand-alone document apart from your OpenAPI definitions. For example, APIs described with AsyncAPI may also benefit from SLA descriptions.

Some open design questions where we would appreciate community feedback include:

  1. What is the best way of representing SLA information? There is an open discussion about if we should extend the OpenAPI document directly or if we maintain the document apart and then use references to API operations. This can be achieved using different techniques like embedded extension, patch/merge mechanisms, overlays. All of them provide pros & cons. Therefore, we are evaluating trade-offs here.
  2. SLA definitions need to reference endpoints. REST endpoints contain a URL plus a HTTP Verb (or alternatively, can be referenced by an OperationId). AsyncAPI operations will differ for sure. A reference mechanism needs to be chosen to allow pointers to specific API operations at OpenAPI, AsyncAPI or others.
  3. Usually constraints and policies apply to a set of endpoints. Instead of enumerating all of the endpoints one by one, a mechanism based on globbing (*), or Regular expressions would be very useful to briefly describe all the endpoints affected by a given limit. OpenAPI tags were also suggested as a way to apply the limits.

Call for Implementers

Time for action has arrived!

Implementers can start building new exciting tools targeting today problems that can put in practice the usage of the extension to show its usefulness. Inside the SIG we will start also doing so very soon just to show a couple of examples of use. 

So if you are interested, please feel free to ask for details and reach out to the SIG about your plans to implement it. We plan to maintain a list of related tools using the SLA spec.

To know more

  1. Current SLA4OAI Spec
  2. Wiki and working drafts
  3. SLA-SIG Mail List
  4. SLA4AOI Presentation at TSC: slides & YouTube video
  5. Paper: The Role of Limitations and SLAs in the API Industry (ESEC/FSE ’19)

Acknowledge

Thanks to all the members taking part of the SLA SIG: Tim Burks (Google), Dave O’Neil (Apimetrics), Paul Cray (Apimetrics), Hyungjun Lim (Google), Khushan Adatiya (Google), Fran Mendez (AsyncAPI), Emmanuel Paraskakis (Independent), Phil Sturgeon (Stoplight), Nikhil Kolekar (Independent), Prithpal Bhogill (Google), Madhurranjan Mohaan (Google), Isaac Hepworth (ex-Google), Scott Ganyo (Google), Kin Lane (API Evangelist), Mike Ralphson (Independent), Jeffrey ErnstFriedman (OpenTravel Alliance), Antonio Ruiz-Cortes (ISA Group/University of Sevilla), Pedro J. Molina (Metadev & ISA Group) and Pablo Fernandez (ISA Group/University of Sevilla).

Thanks also to the TSC and OpenAPI Initiative members for encouraging us and providing the resources and feedback to make this possible.

OpenAPI Specification 3.1.0 Released

By Announcement, Blog

OpenAPI developer community and JSON Schema community work together to build upgrade that supports 100% compatibility with the latest draft of JSON Schema

SAN FRANCISCO – February 18, 2021 – The OpenAPI Initiative, the consortium of forward-looking industry experts focused on creating, evolving and promoting the OpenAPI Specification (OAS), a vendor-neutral, open description format for HTTP (including RESTful) APIs, announced today that the OpenAPI Specification 3.1.0 has been released. This new version now supports 100% compatibility with the latest draft (2020-12) of JSON Schema.

Along with this release, the OpenAPI Initiative has sponsored the creation of new documentation to make it easier to understand the structure of the specification and its benefits. It is available here: https://oai.github.io/Documentation/ 

The OpenAPI Specification is a broadly adopted industry standard for describing modern APIs. It defines a standard, programming language-agnostic interface description for HTTP APIs which allows both humans and computers to discover and understand the capabilities of a service without requiring access to source code, additional documentation, or inspection of network traffic. 

The OpenAPI Specification (OAS) is used by organizations worldwide including Atlassian, Bloomberg, eBay, Google, IBM, Microsoft, Oracle, Postman, SAP, SmartBear, Vonage, and many more.

“The benefits of using the OpenAPI Specification are broadly applicable, ranging from API lifecycle management, to documentation, to security, to microservices development and much, much more,” said Marsh Gardiner, Product Manager, Google, and Technical Steering Committee, OpenAPI Initiative. “Great care was taken in evolving to version 3.1.0 to ensure it is an incremental upgrade for existing users, while also making it an excellent candidate for immediate evaluation and adoption in corporate environments. We extend our heartfelt gratitude to the diverse group of contributors for all their exceptional skills and effort on our latest achievement.”

“The mismatch between OpenAPI JSON Schema-like structures and JSON Schema itself has long been a problem for users and implementers. Full alignment of OpenAPI 3.1.0 with JSON Schema draft 2020-12 will not only save users much pain, but also ushers in a new standardised approach to schema extensions,” said Ben Hutton, JSON Schema project lead. “We’ve spent the last few years (and release) making sure we can clearly hear and understand issues the community faces. With our time limited volunteer based effort, not only have we fixed many pain points and added new features, but JSON Schema vocabularies allows for standards to be defined which cater for use cases beyond validation, such as the generation of code, UI, and documentation.

On Day One of JSON Schema draft 2020-12 being released, two implementations were ready. It’s humbling to work with such an experienced and skilled team.”

While JSON Schema is still technically a “draft” specification, draft 2020-12 sets a new stable foundation on which 3rd parties can build standardised extensions. The JSON Schema team do not foresee any major changes to the approach of the extension system, like dialects and vocabularies. However, the utility may be improved as feedback is received.

JSON Schema website: https://json-schema.org 

JSON Schema Open Collective: https://opencollective.com/json-schema 

JSON Schema Twitter: https://twitter.com/jsonschema

Major Changes in OpenAPI Specification 3.1.0

  • JSON Schema vocabularies alignment
  • New top-level element for describing Webhooks that are registered and managed out of band
  • Support for identifying API licenses using the standard SPDX identifier
  • PathItems object is now optional to make it simpler to create reusable libraries of components. Reusable PathItems can be described in the components object. There is also support for describing APIs secured using client certificates.

Full OpenAPI Specification 3.1.0 release notes are available here: https://github.com/OAI/OpenAPI-Specification/releases/tag/3.1.0

A Note on Semantic Versioning

The OpenAPI Initiative had adopted semantic versioning to communicate the significance of changes in software upgrades. Semantic versioning is a popular numbering methodology where minor version updates indicate changes to software are backward compatible, whereas major updates are not. Technically, using semantic versioning with the new full alignment with JSON Schema would require this change to be denoted as 4.0.0. However, this update to OpenAPI important improvements, specifically the alignment with JSON Schema, but to force it into a major release numbering would have created a mismatch of expectations.

Special Thanks

A special callout to Henry Andrews, Phil Sturgeon, and Ben Hutton for all their work, support and patient explanations they have provided to better align JSON Schema and the OpenAPI Specification. Many thanks to Lorna Mitchell for driving the Webhooks effort, using our new proposal process. And thanks to the many, many open source developers involved worldwide.

OpenAPI Resources

To learn more about participate in the evolution of the OpenAPI Specification: https://www.openapis.org/participate/how-to-contribute

●   Become a Member

●   OpenAPI Specification Twitter

●   OpenAPI Specification GitHub – Get started immediately!

●   Share your OpenAPI Spec v3 Implementations

About the OpenAPI Initiative

The OpenAPI Initiative (OAI) was created by a consortium of forward-looking industry experts who recognize the immense value of standardizing on how APIs are described. As an open governance structure under the Linux Foundation, the OAI is focused on creating, evolving and promoting a vendor neutral description format. The OpenAPI Specification was originally based on the Swagger Specification, donated by SmartBear Software. To get involved with the OpenAPI Initiative, please visit https://www.openapis.org

About Linux Foundation

Founded in 2000, the Linux Foundation is supported by more than 1,000 members and is the world’s leading home for collaboration on open source software, open standards, open data, and open hardware. Linux Foundation projects like Linux, Kubernetes, Node.js and more are considered critical to the development of the world’s most important infrastructure. Its development methodology leverages established best practices and addresses the needs of contributors, users and solution providers to create sustainable models for open collaboration. For more information, please visit us at linuxfoundation.org.

OpenAPI 3.1 Confoo Pass Give-away

By Blog

Coming Soon to An API Near You – OpenAPI Specification (OAS) 3.1.0!

Do you remember the old days when seeing a trailer to an upcoming movie filled you with excitement and anticipation? Well, theaters may still be closed, but there’s no need to lose your excitement for a new release, especially one that’s three years in the making.  We suspect many of you have been sitting, fingers poised above keyboards, waiting anxiously for the release of OpenAPI 3.1.0.   

Well, the wait is over! News is starting to emerge on the new features and we’re curious which parts of OpenAPI 3.1.0 you are looking forward to the most.  Is it the JSON Schema compatibility, the new webhooks support, the improved reusability…?

How do I get a Free Pass to Confoo?

It’s simple! Send us your favorite features and briefly tell us how you plan to use it.  We will enter you in a drawing for a free pass to Confoo 2021 taking place, February 24-26th

To enter, tweet your suggestion with @openapispec #oas31confoo by Monday, February 22, 5 pm Eastern. The winner will be selected by a random number generator.

The conference is coming up quick (and so is the release of OpenAPI 3.1.0).  Send us your feedback. 

The OpenAPI Specification relies on developers just like you to keep it current and relevant.  Join us and make your mark on the future of API standards. New to OpenAPI? Sign up for our newsletter!

Migrating from OpenAPI 3.0 to 3.1.0

By Blog

This post is authored by Phil Sturgeon, product manager, Stoplight, and Chairperson, Protect Earth. If you’d like to donate to Phil’s charity of choice, please see Protect Earth which is reforesting the U.K. one field at a time.

OpenAPI v3.1 brings a lot of great new functionality and improvements, and at some point in the near future you might find yourself wanting to upgrade. If you’re ready to give it a try, let’s take a look at the changes you may, or may not, need to make in order to get onto OpenAPI v3.1.

First things first, let’s change that version number! Open up your OpenAPI JSON or YAML file, and look for this line:

openapi: 3.0.3

Change that to.

openapi: 3.1.0

If instead of `openapi: 3.0.3` you see `swagger: 2.0` then see if swagger2openapi can help you upgrade to v3.0 before continuing.

In a perfect world this would be all you need to do, but despite the minor version number, v3.1 does have some small breaking changes. This decision was not made lightly. Thankfully the scope of the breaking changes is incredibly small, limited to the Schema Object, and achieves a much greater goal: full compatibility with modern JSON Schema.

OpenAPI Schema is now valid JSON Schema

Everything inside the `schema` keyword in OpenAPI is defined by the Schema Object. This has always been loosely based on JSON Schema, and referred to as a “subset superset” because it adds some things, and removes some other things from JSON Schema. This has caused confusion for some folks in the OpenAPI community. To resolve the subset superset problem, contributors from both communities came together, and got these two specifications aligned. 

OpenAPI v3.0 was based on JSON Schema Draft 05, and JSON Schema has gone through a few drafts since then: Draft 06, Draft 07, and Draft 2019-09. Now thanks to feedback gathered from users and tooling maintainers during the v3.1.0 release candidates, one more small draft was released: Draft 2020-12. This should be the last one for a while and no major changes are planned by the JSON Schema crew, so if all goes well a final release is on the horizon, to avoid any further discrepancies. 

Supporting modern JSON Schema brings lots of handy new functionality, including being able to use items arrays for tuples, or the if/then/else keywords as an alternative to awkward nested allOf > oneOf chains some folks were using for more dynamic payloads. We don’t need to learn every new thing JSON Schema can do right now, but if we’re going to upgrade we will need to know what to change in our OpenAPI documents.

Schema Object Changes

Swap nullable for type arrays

In line with JSON Schema, the `type` keyword can now define multiple types for a schema with an array. This is useful new functionality, but has also made nullable redundant. In order to achieve the goal of letting JSON Schema tools understand OpenAPI, it was decided to remove nullable entirely instead of deprecate it. 

# OpenAPI v3.0
type: string
nullable: true

# OpenAPI v3.1
type:
- "string"
- "null" 

This follows the keyword independence concept, where keywords should only add constraints, but adding one more keyword should not remove a constraint. Find and replace should solve this one rather quickly.

Tweak exclusiveMinimum and exclusiveMaximum

These two keywords used to take a boolean value, which would modify the meaning of the `minimum` and `maximum` properties. In OpenAPI v3.1 they are distinct values.

# OpenAPI v3.0
minimum: 7
exclusiveMinimum: true
# OpenAPI v3.1
exclusiveMinimum: 7

Again this one can be solved with some find and replace, and I’d wager many of you don’t even use this keyword for anything.

Use examples not example

OpenAPI has a lot of places that can have an example, or multiple examples. OpenAPI v3.0 can have `example` or `examples` at the Media Type level (requests, responses, callbacks, and webooks) but it can also have a very different type of `example` inside the Schema Object. This schema object singular example was an OpenAPI-specific keyword which is no longer necessary now as JSON Schema has `examples`.

This might need an visualisation, which I will defer to Lorna Mitchell because she made some excellent slides for her talk at APIDays Paris.

# OpenAPI v3.0
type: string
example: fedora
# OpenAPI v3.1
type: string
examples: 
 - fedora

Basically switching any `example` inside a `schema` to `examples` and adding a hyphen at the start (which is a YAML array).

This is more typing if you’re writing YAML entirely by hand instead of using a visual editor, but it’s also a feature: adding multiple examples is now a lot easier. In the past to get multiple examples for a property or schema you would have to switch the type of example being used, from a property example to a media type example, which felt like overkill. Now you can do this:

type: string
examples: 
 - fedora
 - ubuntu

Describing File Upload Payloads 

In OpenAPI v3.0, describing file uploads was signalled with a type: string and the format set to byte, binary, or base64. JSON Schema helps make this far more clear with its contentEncoding and contentMediaType keywords, which are designed for exactly this sort of use.

Uploading a binary file in a POST request? No need to even use a schema now.

# OpenAPI v3.0
requestBody:
  content:
    application/octet-stream:
      schema:
        type: string
        format: binary

# OpenAPI v3.1

# OpenAPI v3.1
requestBody:
  content:
    application/octet-stream: {}

Uploading an image with base64 encoding?

# OpenAPI v3.0
requestBody:
  content:
    image/png:
      schema:
        type: string
        format: base64
# OpenAPI v3.1
requestBody:
  content:
    image/png:
      schema:
        type: string
        contentEncoding: base64

Multipart file uploads with a binary file?

# OpenAPI v3.0
requestBody:
  content:
    multipart/form-data:
  	schema:
       type: object
       properties:
        orderId:
          type: integer
        fileName:
          type: string
          format: binary
# OpenAPI v3.1
requestBody:
  content:
    multipart/form-data:
  	schema:
       type: object
       properties:
        orderId:
          type: integer
        fileName:
          type: string
          contentMediaType: application/octet-stream

This keyword supports all encodings defined in RFC4648, including “base64” and “base64url”, as well as “quoted-printable” from RFC2045.

Declaring $schema Dialects to protect against change

That’s it for things you’ll need to change, and there’s lots of other functionality I could talk about, but one thing which will help avoid change in the future is the ability to define a $schema in your schemas. 

$schema now allowed

The $schema keyword is optional but a useful way to define exactly what JSON Schema dialect a model is written in, which could be different drafts or even custom dialects. Tools which support multiple dialects can process the files slightly differently, meaning you don’t always need to make changes to all your models when upgrading OpenAPI versions in the future.

OpenAPI is entirely compatible with JSON Schema because it is now a JSON Schema dialect, so by default any schema is using `$schema. “https://spec.openapis.org/oas/3.1/dialect/base”` dialect. If you split your schemas into other JSON/YAML files and use $ref to point to them, they could contain a different $schema and override this default.

{
   $schema: "http://json-schema.org/draft-07/schema#",
}

This makes things a lot easier for tooling maintainers, because they no longer need to try and guess what draft a schema is by looking at where it is referenced from. In the past this created impossible situations where a single schema was referenced by OAS2 and OAS3 at the same time, and might have worked for a while, until a OAS3 specific keyword was added, now everything is broken for the OAS2 usage. 

Now all models can declare their own dialect and if an OpenAPI document references a dialect that the tools do not understand how to parse, it will be immediately clear, instead of breaking after several months of usage and confusing everyone. 

OpenAPI Initiative Welcomes Ambassador Labs as Newest Member

By Announcement, Blog

Ambassador Labs enables application developers to ship software faster on Kubernetes. The company’s Kubernetes-native API gateway offers an open source development kit to develop, manage, and monitor microservice architectures, enabling developers to adopt a cloud-native development workflow for Kubernetes services.

“We are heavily committed to improving support for OAS in our products, so joining the OAI is a natural move for us as we align closer with the OpenAPI community,” says Richard Li, CEO of Ambassador Labs. “In the cloud-native world, standardized API definitions create a natural point of integration across independent, fast-moving teams without strong central coordination.” 

“We are excited to welcome Ambassador Labs to the OpenAPI Initiative. APIs and microservices reinforce one another, and that synergy is a key reason why it is so important to standardize how we describe APIs,” said Marsh Gardiner, Product Manager, Google Cloud, and Technical Steering Committee, OpenAPI Initiative. “We look forward to working with Ambassador Labs to evolve and promote API standards like the OpenAPI Specification.”

From Ambassador Labs:

Ambassador Labs, makers of Edge Stack, the most popular Kubernetes-native API Gateway, is proud to join the OpenAPI initiative and work with OAI to establish and evangelize the standardization on OAS for API development.  Ambassador Labs is at the forefront of focusing on the cloud-native developer experience, both through dedicated developer tooling and by providing an integrated API Developer Portal

Ambassador Labs takes a comprehensive view of the ways in which they support developers, which is rooted in their belief that while Kubernetes represents a significant shift in technology, it really represents an opportunity to change the way developers do work. The successful shift to “cloud-native” requires multiple factors to fall into place, including the standardization on APIs, which is key to delivering an optimal developer experience.  

Learn more about open-source Ambassador API Gateway and how Ambassador empowers cloud-native developers to create flexibility and reduce complexity at www.getambassador.io.

OpenAPI Resources

To learn more about how to participate in the evolution of the OpenAPI Specification: https://www.openapis.org/participate/how-to-contribute

About Ambassador Labs

Ambassador Labs enables developers to ship without fear. Makers of the popular open source projects for Kubernetes Ambassador Edge Stack and Telepresence, Ambassador Labs is beloved by tens of thousands of developers worldwide. Used by companies such as Microsoft, PTC, NVidia, and Ticketmaster, Ambassador Labs has teams around the world. Join our community at https://www.getambassador.io.

About the OpenAPI Initiative

The OpenAPI Initiative (OAI) was created by a consortium of forward-looking industry experts who recognize the immense value of standardizing on how APIs are described. As an open governance structure under the Linux Foundation, the OAI is focused on creating, evolving and promoting a vendor neutral description format. The OpenAPI Specification was originally based on the Swagger Specification, donated by SmartBear Software. To get involved with the OpenAPI Initiative, please visit https://www.openapis.org

About Linux Foundation 

Founded in 2000, the Linux Foundation is supported by more than 1,000 members and is the world’s leading home for collaboration on open source software, open standards, open data, and open hardware. Linux Foundation projects like Linux, Kubernetes, Node.js and more are considered critical to the development of the world’s most important infrastructure. Its development methodology leverages established best practices and addresses the needs of contributors, users and solution providers to create sustainable models for open collaboration. For more information, please visit us at linuxfoundation.org.