Swagger vs Blobr

Swagger is one of the most widely used API Documentation tool and rests on the OpenAPI Specification, the industry standard for RESTful API. Blobr API Documentation - also based on OpenAPI - is made for helping API Consumers integrate API Products. Between Swagger and Blobr, this guide will help you choose.
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Overview

What does Blobr do?

Blobr is a no-code SaaS to create your API developer portal. API providers can manage, document, distribute and monetize API products from one place on their terms. Each portal is unique and each API provider has its own. They can add their branding and integrate the portal to their own environment. Blobr has been made so that both technical and non-technical profiles can succeed.

What does Swagger do?

Swagger is a mix of open-source and commercial tools covering a large part of the API lifecycle, from API design and development to documentation and testing. It is based, and not to be confused with, the Swagger Specification - now the OpenAPI specification. SwaggerHub is the collaborative tool for teams and companies developing APIs.

Blobr’s API Portal

Blobr’s API documentation - based on the OpenAPI specification - is built-in to be synced with API products, providing a personalized experience. API providers can provide use-case based instructions, making it easier for the user to consume the API. A “Try it out” button gives a quick response and a concrete illustration of the documentation. When an API is versioned and impacts an end-user, a customized changelog is sent. The documentation is always synced and changed accordingly. Automatic code snippets are generated so developers just need to copy paste the content in their code. Developers can as well follow the consumption and receive alerts when they reach certain thresholds.

Swagger API Documentation tool

Based on the OpenAPI specification and now under the SwaggerHub umbrella, the Swagger API documentation tool displays an automatically generated endpoint-based documentation, with a “Try it out” button. Designed for both an internal and external use, the documentation provides basic information to consume the API. The documentation is also kept up to date when a new version of the API is released.

Comparaison table

Pricing
Free to use for API management and documentation purposes.

Customization and branding also available with the free plan.
Free and open plan with little options and limited API documentation features.

SwaggerHub for teams ranges from 96 to 320$+ depending on the number of Designers and Consumers.
Branding
Logo, colours, custom domain name (API and API Portal), SSO.(start at 0$/month).
Generated documentation can be integrated on the API provider website, but comes with no custom options.
API Documentation
Based on the product creation and selected endpoints and customized.

Workflows are step-by-step instructions adapted to each API products. Possibility to add content to illustrate each API use case (e.g. pictures, videos).
Displayed as a whole, same for all API consumers with a description for each endpoint.

No step-by-step documentation to integrate the API.
API Versioning
API versioning is handled on a product level directly. If an API is versioned, API Consumers get personalized changelogs. Docs are changed automatically and appropriate communications can be sent.
API versioning handled automatically when the new version of the API is released. Deprecated endpoints are turned grey.

It’s up to the API Consumer to consult the changelog and assess the impact.
Target Usage
Made for developer and product profiles and for an external use.
Developer’s hub, mainly for an internal use.
Pricing
Free to use for API management and documentation purposes. Customization and branding also available with the free plan.
Branding
Logo, colours, custom domain name (API and API Portal), SSO.(start at 0$/month).
API Documentation
Based on the product creation and selected endpoints and customized. Workflows are step-by-step instructions adapted to each API products. Possibility to add content to illustrate each API use case (e.g. pictures, videos).
API Versioning
API versioning is handled on a product level directly. If an API is versioned, API Consumers get personalized changelogs. Docs are changed automatically and appropriate communications can be sent.
Target Usage
Made for developer and product profiles and for an external use.

Blobr’s advantage:
A clearer API Documentation aimed to sell and share your APIs

For many years, Swagger used to be the go-to API Documentation tool. A specification that remains the standard for REST API Documentation. It is now named OpenAPI, while Swagger has become part of SmartBear and was rebranded with others API tools under the SwaggerHub umbrella.

And while new API Documentation tools have emerged, using the Open API spec - including Blobr - Swagger has remained the same. It still features an endpoint approach, useful for an internal use, but limited when it comes to sharing and selling an API to give more context. When the adoption of the API is key and the goal of the API Provider is to provide the clearest and most complete API Documentation possible, Swagger falls short and lacks the product approach that is now necessary.

As for versioning, Swagger handles the changes by updating automatically the documentation, but the changelog concerns the whole API, enabling breaking changes for external users.

The Blobr API Documentation, a complete tool made for an external use

Blobr uses the API-as-a-product angle to provide a self-contained API Documentation. It involves an API Product feature, enabling the API Providers to adapt the API to their clients’ use-cases. And a documentation based on them, that only displays what’s necessary to implement for end-users with contextual information (workflow, pictures, video), thus reducing the time to the first call.

And versioning - one of the main challenges for developers - is also supported. Since consumers’ use of APIs is known on Blobr, we ensure that versioning creates the least amount of burden. Blobr anticipates all the impacts of the newly added API. Products are updated accordingly. API consumers get changelogs information. Developer experience is finally improved.