eBay Provides OpenAPI Specification (OAS) for All its RESTful Public APIs

By Ole Lensmar, Chairperson of the OpenAPI Initiative

Today, eBay announced that they are leveraging the OpenAPI Specification (OAS) for all of its RESTful public APIs. With OpenAPI, developers can download an eBay OpenAPI contract, generate code and successfully call an eBay API in minutes. APIs play a critical role in eBay’s Developer Ecosystem helping the company build and deliver the best experiences to its buyers and sellers.

“The move to using the OpenAPI Specification was a unanimous choice given our needs and knowledge of the incredible ecosystem of developers that surround OpenAPI,” said Gail Frederick, GM of eBay Portland and VP Developer Ecosystem at eBay. “The OpenAPI Specification is the de facto standard for describing APIs and plays a critical role in the new microservices-based architecture at eBay.”

As a member and chairperson of the of the OpenAPI Initiative, I see more and more companies moving to distributed and microservice-based architectures as the need to build quality experiences for users and ship products or services to market faster is a linchpin to any business’ success. Technologies and tools created to support this transition are largely built from open collaboration, spanning application development technologies like Node.js to container orchestration like Kubernetes. Since APIs are the “glue” between distributed components, the OAS standard plays a central part in this transition.

This was definitely the case with eBay. As eBay transitioned from a monolithic and centralized architecture to a distributed microservice architecture, the company needed to evolve the way service contracts were explored, tested, published, and integrated with API specifications.

The company had a set of needs for this transition:

API contracts would need to meet the needs of seamless exploration and integration across a diverse technology stack, be industry standard, and be feature rich to complement our Technical Standards and governance models necessitated the exploration for a new specification. The primary criteria was a specification that was both human and machine readable, language agnostic, vendor-neutral, and open source.
Shekhar Banerjee, Senior MTS Architect, eBay

OAS became the unanimous choice due to its tooling support, fully customizable stack, code-first and contract-first approaches to API development, and most importantly because OpenAPI continues to evolve as a standard led by open collaboration from the OpenAPI Initiative. The move to OAS furthers eBay’s mission to its Developer Ecosystem to promote developer efficiency and productivity with no more SDKs and no more hours spent writing API client code.

eBay has been a member of the OpenAPI Initiative since August 2017 and one of the first in the industry to publish contracts based on OpenAPI 3.0 specification. We are very excited to see eBay’s continued support of our consortium, as well as other open collaboration projects, including the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF). We look forward to sharing more around eBay’s success with OAS as well as the many users and members that make up our ecosystem during API Strategy & Practice Conference happening September 24 – 26 in Nashville, Tennessee. Learn more about this conference here, and keep up-to-date with news coming out of the OpenAPI Initiative here.