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


+ 1

+ 1
Add tool

OpenAPI vs RAML: What are the differences?

Introduction: OpenAPI and RAML are two popular languages used in API documentation. Although both serve a similar purpose, there are some key differences between the two.

  1. Format: OpenAPI uses YAML or JSON for specifying the API, while RAML uses YAML or JSON plus an XML extension for describing the API. This difference in formats allows for slightly different ways of organizing and presenting the API documentation.

  2. Version Control: OpenAPI has a long history and has evolved through multiple versions, with the latest being OpenAPI 3.0. RAML, on the other hand, had a major release in 2013 and is currently in version 1.0. This difference in versioning can affect the availability and maturity of certain features in each language.

  3. Tooling Ecosystem: OpenAPI has a more extensive tooling ecosystem compared to RAML. This includes a wide range of tools for generating server stubs, client libraries, and documentation from the OpenAPI specifications. RAML's tooling ecosystem, while not as extensive, still provides tools for various tasks but may have fewer options available.

  4. Schema Definition: OpenAPI uses JSON Schema for describing and validating data models, while RAML uses a built-in schema definition language called JSON Type Language (JTL). This difference in schema definition can affect how data models are defined and used in the API documentation.

  5. Maturity and Adoption: OpenAPI has a larger community and wider adoption compared to RAML. This means that OpenAPI specifications are more commonly used and supported by API developers, tooling providers, and API consumers. RAML, while still widely used, may have a slightly smaller community and fewer resources available.

  6. Extensibility: OpenAPI offers a more extensible framework for adding custom specifications and annotations through the use of extensions. RAML, while also supporting extensibility, may have more limited options for adding custom specifications in certain areas.

In summary, OpenAPI and RAML differ in their formats, version control, tooling ecosystem, schema definition, maturity, and extensibility. While OpenAPI has a larger community and more extensive tooling support, RAML offers a different approach to API documentation and may still be a viable option depending on specific requirements and preferences.

Get Advice from developers at your company using StackShare Enterprise. Sign up for StackShare Enterprise.
Learn More
Pros of OpenAPI
Pros of RAML
  • 1
    Easy to read the template generated
  • 1
    The most popular api spec
  • 1
    Easy to learn
  • 1
    Supports versioning
  • 1
    Supports authentication
  • 1
    Supports caching
  • 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

Sign up to add or upvote prosMake informed product decisions

- No public GitHub repository available -

What is OpenAPI?

It is a publicly available application programming interface that provides developers with programmatic access to a proprietary software application or web service.

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.

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

What companies use OpenAPI?
What companies use RAML?
See which teams inside your own company are using OpenAPI or RAML.
Sign up for StackShare EnterpriseLearn More

Sign up to get full access to all the companiesMake informed product decisions

What tools integrate with OpenAPI?
What tools integrate with RAML?

Sign up to get full access to all the tool integrationsMake informed product decisions

Blog Posts

What are some alternatives to OpenAPI and RAML?
t is a format that works with HTTP. A main goal of the specification is to optimize HTTP requests both in terms of the number of requests and the size of data packages exchanged between clients and servers.
It is the only complete API development environment, used by nearly five million developers and more than 100,000 companies worldwide.
GraphQL is a data query language and runtime designed and used at Facebook to request and deliver data to mobile and web apps since 2012.
It is an ISO/IEC approved, OASIS standard that defines a set of best practices for building and consuming RESTful APIs. It helps you focus on your business logic while building RESTful APIs without having to worry about the various approaches to define request and response headers, status codes, HTTP methods, URL conventions, media types, payload formats, query options, etc.
gRPC is a modern open source high performance RPC framework that can run in any environment. It can efficiently connect services in and across data centers with pluggable support for load balancing, tracing, health checking...
See all alternatives