Managing API Deprecation and Sunsetting

Good API Insight 2019-001

Erik Wilde

July 10, 2019

APIs have a lifecycle that takes them from earlier stages to the end of their productive life. Managing this lifecycle should be an integral part of API design and culture. Towards the end of their lifecycle, APIs often get deprecated, and then eventually sunset. For both of these transitions, it is useful for consumers when they can see these transitions in the API lifecycle. For both stages (deprecation/sunset) it is possible to explicitly link to documentation, and to expose the lifecycle transitions as HTTP header fields. In this insight, we describe the Deprecation and Sunset HTTP header fields and how they can be used by API providers and consumers to improve API management.

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