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RAML vs Swagger UI: What are the differences?

Introduction

RAML and Swagger UI are both popular tools used in API documentation. While they serve a similar purpose, there are several key differences between the two.

  1. Syntax and Structure: RAML uses a YAML-based syntax that allows for a more declarative and human-readable design. On the other hand, Swagger UI uses a JSON-based syntax which is more widely adopted and supported.

  2. Extensibility and Customization: RAML provides more flexibility in terms of extensibility and allows users to define their own custom elements and patterns. Swagger UI, on the other hand, has a more rigid structure and limited options for customization.

  3. Tooling and Ecosystem: Swagger UI has a larger and more mature ecosystem with a wide range of tools and libraries available for various programming languages. RAML, on the other hand, has a smaller ecosystem and fewer community-supported tools.

  4. API Specification Features: RAML includes features like resource types, traits, and libraries that allow for more modular and reusable API designs. Swagger UI, on the other hand, focuses more on providing a comprehensive documentation experience with features like interactive API exploration and testing.

  5. Validation and Error Handling: RAML has built-in support for request/response validation and error handling, making it easier to detect and handle errors during the API development process. Swagger UI, on the other hand, provides limited validation capabilities and relies more on external tools and frameworks for error handling.

  6. Adoption and Industry Support: Swagger UI has gained more widespread adoption and support from industry giants like Google, Microsoft, and IBM. RAML, on the other hand, is more commonly used in certain communities like the MuleSoft ecosystem.

In summary, RAML and Swagger UI differ in their syntax, extensibility, tooling ecosystem, API specification features, validation capabilities, and industry support.

Advice on RAML and Swagger UI
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Swagger UISwagger UI

From a StackShare Community member: "I just started working for a start-up and we are in desperate need of better documentation for our API. Currently our API docs is in a README.md file. We are evaluating Postman and Swagger UI. Since there are many options and I was wondering what other StackSharers would recommend?"

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Replies (3)
Jagdeep Singh
Tech Lead at ucreate.it · | 8 upvotes · 368.3K views

I use Postman because of the ease of team-management, using workspaces and teams, runner, collections, environment variables, test-scripts (post execution), variable management (pre and post execution), folders (inside collections, for better management of APIs), newman, easy-ci-integration (and probably a few more things that I am not able to recall right now).

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I use Swagger UI because it's an easy tool for end-consumers to visualize and test our APIs. It focuses on that ! And it's directly embedded and delivered with the APIs. Postman's built-in tools aren't bad, but their main focus isn't the documentation and also, they are hosted outside the project.

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Sadik Ay
Recommends
on
PostmanPostman

I recommend Postman because it's easy to use with history option. Also, it has very great features like runner, collections, test scripts runners, defining environment variables and simple exporting and importing data.

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Pros of RAML
Pros of Swagger UI
  • 15
    API Specification
  • 7
    Human Readable
  • 6
    API Documentation
  • 3
    Design Patterns & Code Reuse
  • 2
    API Modeling
  • 2
    Automatic Generation of Mule flow
  • 2
    Unit Testing
  • 1
    API Mocking
  • 1
    SDK Generation
  • 49
    Open Source
  • 34
    Can execute api calls from the documentation
  • 29
    Free to use
  • 19
    Customizable
  • 14
    Easy to implement in .Net
  • 13
    Mature, clean spec
  • 12
    API Visualization
  • 9
    Coverage
  • 6
    Scaffolding
  • 6
    Easy to use
  • 5
    Vibrant and active community
  • 4
    Elegant
  • 3
    Adopted by tm forum api
  • 2
    Clear for React
  • 1
    Api
  • 1
    Can deploy API to AWS API Gateway and AWS Lambda

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Cons of RAML
Cons of Swagger UI
    Be the first to leave a con
    • 3
      Need to learn YAML and RAML
    • 2
      Documentation doesn't look that good
    • 1
      Doesn't generate code snippets in different languages
    • 1
      You don’t actually get in-line error highlighting
    • 1
      Does not support hypermedia

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    - No public GitHub repository available -

    What is RAML?

    RESTful API Modeling Language (RAML) makes it easy to manage the whole API lifecycle from design to sharing. It's concise - you only write what you need to define - and reusable. It is machine readable API design that is actually human friendly.

    What is Swagger UI?

    Swagger UI is a dependency-free collection of HTML, Javascript, and CSS assets that dynamically generate beautiful documentation and sandbox from a Swagger-compliant API

    Need advice about which tool to choose?Ask the StackShare community!

    What companies use RAML?
    What companies use Swagger UI?
    See which teams inside your own company are using RAML or Swagger UI.
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    What tools integrate with RAML?
    What tools integrate with Swagger UI?

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    What are some alternatives to RAML and Swagger UI?
    Apiary
    It takes more than a simple HTML page to thrill your API users. The right tools take weeks of development. Weeks that apiary.io saves.
    YAML
    A human-readable data-serialization language. It is commonly used for configuration files, but could be used in many applications where data is being stored or transmitted.
    JSON
    JavaScript Object Notation is a lightweight data-interchange format. It is easy for humans to read and write. It is easy for machines to parse and generate. It is based on a subset of the JavaScript Programming Language.
    REST
    An architectural style for developing web services. A distributed system framework that uses Web protocols and technologies.
    Postman
    It is the only complete API development environment, used by nearly five million developers and more than 100,000 companies worldwide.
    See all alternatives