A Newbie’s Guide to Deprecated API

By, Seema Gaurav 

What is a deprecated API?

You know how people start off wanting one thing from someone and slowly end up wanting different things from that person… Well, that happens in a product, too.

A product relies heavily on APIs that are bundled within it. An API can be a piece of code, such as a method or a class. As the product evolves, the product may have new needs, which the old API is unable to meet. So, the product uses new APIs to meet with the change.

But now, it is not dependent on the old API. So the product decides to get rid of it. That’s when the product announces the API as deprecated. The announcement is generally made in the product’s release notes. A deprecated API is likely to be removed in a subsequent release. The users can continue using the API in the current release, but going forward the product may shelve off the API completely.

When is an API eligible for deprecation?

Well, this depends on various conditions. At times, the need arises because the product is undergoing a change and the old API is no longer relevant. If not for that, here are some reasons you would deprecate an API:

  • It is buggy
  • It takes a lot of memory
  • It is high maintenance
  • It is not secure
  • It becomes unresponsive
  • It is inefficient
  • It is a method that takes a lot of arguments

About the Author

Seema Gaurav works as a TechComm Architect with TIBCO Software, Pune. She has over 12 years of experience in the field of technical writing. She enjoys deciphering technology and simplifying it for her readers. She believes that the world finds beauty and hope in stories which is why she spends her free time as a storyteller.