Deprecate

API deprecation occurs eventually for all APIs, and having a formal process to the deprecation of APIs or specific versions of an API helps API producers prepare for this inevitable future in a way that keeps consumers properly informed about what is happening, allowing the deprecation of APIs to happen consistently across all teams, groups, and the entire enterprise organization.

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API deprecation should be considered as early on in the lifecycle of an API as possible, establishing estimates for how long each version of an API will be maintained and what the overall lifespan of an API should look like. However, it is common for many teams to not think about deprecation early on as they are focused on only delivering new features and increasing the adoption of an API. Even with this reality there should still be a formal strategy for developers to consider when it comes to how they should be thinking about API deprecation, providing a common blueprint they can follow to properly shut-down an API without causing friction with consumers.

Blueprints

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