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What Makes APIs Difficult to Use?


Minhaz Fahim Zibran


Vol. 8  No. 4  pp. 255-261


Use of APIs is an inseparable part of software development today. But programmers often find difficulties in using those APIs in client code [27]. This reduces programmers' productivity as well as quality of the client code [30]. Therefore, APIs should be implemented to have high usability, and to this extent a good understanding of what makes APIs difficult to use demands the foremost importance. I reviewed existing literature in this area and identified significant factors that put barriers on usability of the APIs. In presenting the findings this paper makes two contributions: (1) The results would be useful for the API designers and developers to produce more usable APIs for the community, (2) The findings indicate further research scope in this area, which would be interesting to the researchers.


Application programming interface, API design, API usability