When your organisation is managing the API, you will want to manage the authorisation server.

When your organisation is managing the API, you will want to manage the authorisation server.

Use application-level authorisation if you wish to control which applications can access your API, but not which specific end users. This will be suitable if you want to use rate limiting, auditing, or billing functionality. Application-level authorisation is essay writers typically not suitable for APIs holding personal or data that are sensitive you probably trust your consumers, as an example. another government department.

We recommend using OAuth 2.0, the open authorisation framework (specifically utilizing the Client Credentials grant type). This service gives each registered application an OAuth2 Bearer Token, which are often used which will make API requests on the application’s own behalf.

To offer authorisation that is user-level

Use user-level authorisation if you’d like to control which end users can access your API. This is certainly suited to coping with personal or sensitive data.

As an example, OAuth 2.0 is a authorisation that is popular in government, specifically because of the Authorisation Code grant type. Use OAuth 2.0 Scopes for more granular access control.

OpenID Connect (OIDC), which builds on top of OAuth2, having its usage of JSON Web Token (JWT), might be suitable in some instances, for example a federated system.

For whitelisting and privacy

Use whitelisting if you would like your API to be permanently or temporarily private, as an example to operate a private beta. You can easily whitelist per application or per user.

You ought not to whitelist the IP addresses of this APIs you consume. This is because APIs can be provided Content that is using Delivery

Networks (CDNs) and load that is scalable, which count on flexible, rapid allocation of IP addresses and sharing. Rather than whitelisting, an HTTPS should be used by you egress proxy.

choose an appropriate refresh frequency and expiry period for your user access tokens – failure to refresh access tokens regularly can cause vulnerabilities

allow your users to revoke authority

Invalidate an access token yourselves and force a reissue if there is a good reason to suspect a token has been compromised.

use time-based passwords that are one-timeTOTP) for additional security on APIs with application-level authorisation

use multi-factor authentication (MFA) and identity verification (IV) for extra security on APIs with user-level authorisation

make sure the tokens you provide have the narrowest permissions possible (narrowing the permissions means there’s a far lower risk to your API if the tokens are lost by users or compromised)

Your API security is just as good as your day-to-day security processes.

Monitor APIs for unusual behaviour exactly like you’d closely monitor any website. Try to find changes in IP addresses or users using APIs at unusual times during the your day. See the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) guidance to learn simple tips to implement a monitoring strategy together with specifics of just how to monitor the security status of networks and systems.

All API naming in URLs (such as the name of one’s API, namespaces and resources) should:

use nouns rather than verbs

be short, simple and easy clearly understandable

be human-guessable, avoiding technical or terms that are specialist possible

use hyphens instead of underscores as word separators for multiword names

For instance: api-name.api.gov.uk .

Generally, every one of your APIs needs to have its domain that is own as each service features its own domain. This may also avoid API sprawl and simplify your versioning.

If you provide multiple APIs and you have a business case that means you’ll deploy common services across them, such as for instance common management, authentication and security approaches, you may need to consider:

providing them all from the same domain

differentiating them by using namespaces.

The function should be reflected by the namespace of government to be had by this API. Namespaces may be singular or plural, with respect to the situation.

Sub-resources must appear under the resource they relate genuinely to, but should go a maximum of three deep, as an example: /resource/id/sub-resource/id/sub-sub-resource .

If you reach a third level of granularity (sub-sub-resource), you should review your resource construction to see in case it is actually a mixture of multiple first or second level resources.

You should utilize path parameters to recognize a specific resource or resources. For example, /users/1 .

You should only allow query strings to be used in GET requests for filtering the values returned from an resource that is individual for example /users?state=active or /users?page=2 .

You should never use query strings in GET requests for identification purposes, as an example, avoid using the query string /users? >.

Query strings really should not be employed for defining the behaviour of your API, for instance /users?action=getUser& >.

When iterating your API to include new or functionality that is improved you really need to minimise disruption for your users so that they usually do not incur unnecessary costs.

To minimise disruption for users, you should:

make backwards changes that are compatible possible – specify parsers ignore properties they don’t expect or understand to ensure changes are backwards compatible (this allows one to add fields to update functionality without requiring changes into the client application)

make a endpoint that is new for significant changes

provide notices for deprecated endpoints

New endpoints usually do not always want to accompany functionality that is new they still maintain backward compatibility

You should consider when you need to make a backwards incompatible change:

incrementing a version number when you look at the URL or even the HTTP header (start with /v1/ and increment with whole numbers)

supporting both old and new endpoints in parallel for a time that is suitable before discontinuing the old one

telling users of your API how exactly to validate data, for instance, tell them when a field isn’t going to show up so that they can be sure their validation rules will treat that field as optional

Sometimes need that is you’ll make a bigger change and simplify a complex object structure by folding data from multiple objects together. In this instance, make a object that is new at a new endpoint, for example:

Combine data about users and accounts from:

/v1/users/123 and /v1/accounts/123

Set clear API deprecation policies so you’re not supporting client that is old forever.

State how users that are long to upgrade, and just how you’ll notify them among these deadlines. For example, at GDS, we usually contact developers directly but we also announce deprecation in HTTP responses using a ‘Warning’ header.

Your API consumers would want to test their application against your API before each goes live. If you have a read only API then you may not necessarily need to provide a test service.

Supply them with a test service (sometimes referred to as a sandbox).

In the event your API has complex or stateful behaviour, consider providing a test service that mimics the live service whenever you can, but bear in mind the expense of achieving this.

In the event the API requires authorisation, for instance using OAuth 2.0, you’ll need certainly to include this in your test service or provide multiple quantities of a test service.

That will help you determine what to deliver, do user research – pose a question to your API consumers what a sufficient test service would appear to be.

You should provide the ability to your development team to test thoroughly your API using sample test data, if applicable. Testing your API must not involve production that is using and production data.

A well-configured Content Delivery Network (CDN) may provide sufficient scalability for highly cacheable open data access APIs.

For APIs that don’t have those characteristics, you need to set quota expectations for your users in terms of rate and capacity available. Start small, in accordance with user needs, and respond to requests to increase capacity by simply making sure your API can meet up with the quotas you’ve got set.

Be sure users can test thoroughly your full API up to the quotas you have got set.

Enforce the quotas you’ve got set, even if you have got excess capacity. This is why certain that your users can get a experience that is consistent you don’t have excess capacity, and can design and build to handle your API quota.

Just like user-facing services, you ought to test the capacity of your APIs in a environment that is representative help make sure you can meet demand.

Where in actuality the API delivers personal or personal information you, once the data controller, must definitely provide sufficient timeouts on any cached information in your delivery network.

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