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Swagger UI vs jsdoc: What are the differences?


In this markdown, we will compare Swagger UI and jsdoc, highlighting the key differences between the two tools.

  1. Real-time API documentation: Swagger UI allows for real-time API documentation, enabling developers to document their APIs and generate interactive documentation instantly. On the other hand, jsdoc is mainly used for documenting JavaScript code, focusing on providing documentation for functions, variables, and classes. While Swagger UI is dedicated to API documentation, jsdoc is a documentation tool for JavaScript code in general.

  2. User Interface: Swagger UI provides a user-friendly and visually pleasing interface, allowing users to interact with the API directly from the documentation. It offers features like trying out API endpoints, sending requests, and viewing responses. Jsdoc, on the other hand, generates documentation in a more traditional format, typically as HTML pages with basic styling. It provides a navigable index and categorizes the content, but lacks the advanced UI features of Swagger UI.

  3. Automatic API Exploration: Swagger UI automatically explores and discovers the available API endpoints based on the underlying code or provided API specifications. It generates a comprehensive list of available endpoints, including their parameters, request bodies, and response schemas. Jsdoc, on the other hand, requires manual annotation of the code to generate documentation. Developers need to explicitly add comments or tags to indicate the purpose and usage of functions, variables, and classes.

  4. Interoperability: Swagger UI is designed to be interoperable and supports various input formats, including OpenAPI Specification (OAS) and Swagger Specification. This allows developers to integrate their existing API specifications or generate new ones using different tools. Jsdoc, on the other hand, is primarily focused on JavaScript code and does not have built-in support for interoperability with other languages or specifications.

  5. Community and Ecosystem: Swagger UI has a large and active community, with extensive resources, tutorials, and support available. It is widely used and integrated with various tools and frameworks in the API development ecosystem. Jsdoc also has a considerable community and ecosystem, but its focus on JavaScript code limits its reach compared to the more API-centric Swagger UI.

  6. Extensibility and Customization: Swagger UI provides a wide range of customization options, allowing developers to tailor the documentation to their specific needs. It supports custom themes, plugins, and extensions, making it highly flexible. Jsdoc also offers customization options, allowing developers to define templates and modify the generated documentation, but it may require more advanced configuration and customization skills.

In summary, Swagger UI excels in providing real-time API documentation with a user-friendly interface and automatic exploration, supporting various specifications and offering extensive customization options. On the other hand, jsdoc is focused on documenting JavaScript code, providing a traditional documentation format with manual annotation requirements and fewer advanced UI features.

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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 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 · | 8 upvotes · 377.8K 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

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 jsdoc
Pros of Swagger UI
  • 2
    Far less verbose
  • 1
    Simpler type safe than TypeScript
  • 1
    No compiler needed
  • 1
    Does almost everything TS does
  • 49
    Open Source
  • 34
    Can execute api calls from the documentation
  • 29
    Free to use
  • 19
  • 14
    Easy to implement in .Net
  • 13
    Mature, clean spec
  • 12
    API Visualization
  • 9
  • 6
  • 6
    Easy to use
  • 5
    Vibrant and active community
  • 4
  • 3
    Adopted by tm forum api
  • 2
    Clear for React
  • 1
  • 1
    Can deploy API to AWS API Gateway and AWS Lambda

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Cons of jsdoc
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 jsdoc?

    JSDoc 3 is an API documentation generator for JavaScript, similar to JavaDoc or PHPDoc. You add documentation comments directly to your source code, right along side the code itself. The JSDoc Tool will scan your source code, and generate a complete HTML documentation website for you.

    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 jsdoc?
    What companies use Swagger UI?
    See which teams inside your own company are using jsdoc or Swagger UI.
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    What tools integrate with jsdoc?
    What tools integrate with Swagger UI?
      No integrations found

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      What are some alternatives to jsdoc and Swagger UI?
      It obtains a comment called doc comment from a source code. Then it generates a document from a tag in a doc comment
      TypeScript is a language for application-scale JavaScript development. It's a typed superset of JavaScript that compiles to plain JavaScript.
      Flow is an online collaboration platform that makes it easy for people to create, organize, discuss, and accomplish tasks with anyone, anytime, anywhere. By merging a sleek, intuitive interface with powerful functionality, we're out to revolutionize the way the world's productive teams get things done.
      JavaScript is most known as the scripting language for Web pages, but used in many non-browser environments as well such as node.js or Apache CouchDB. It is a prototype-based, multi-paradigm scripting language that is dynamic,and supports object-oriented, imperative, and functional programming styles.
      Git is a free and open source distributed version control system designed to handle everything from small to very large projects with speed and efficiency.
      See all alternatives