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ADR-0008: Have a Minimal and Intuitive API

  • Status: accepted
  • Date: 2024-05-11
  • Tags: api, usability, interface

Link Context and Problem Statement

At its essence, VMware Secrets Manager is an in-memory key-value store that is designed to store sensitive data securely. Since what VSecM is fairly intuitive, the API should be as well. We don’t want to bloat the API with unnecessary complexity or features that are not essential to the core functionality.

The same reasoning also applies for VSecM SDKs and VSecM CLI, as well, since they are a kind of API to the VMware Secrets Manager.

The API of VMware Secrets Manager should be minimal and intuitive to use, allowing developers to interact with the service without needing to refer to extensive documentation.

Link Decision Drivers

  • Simplicity and ease of use are key to adoption.
  • A minimal API reduces the cognitive load on developers.
  • An intuitive API improves developer productivity.
  • A minimal API is easier to maintain and evolve.
  • A minimal API is less prone to bugs and errors.
  • A minimal API is easier to test and validate.
  • A minimal API is easier to document and support.
  • A minimal API is more likely to be consistent and coherent.
  • A minimal API is more likely to be performant and efficient.
  • A minimal API is more likely to be secure and reliable.
  • A minimal API is more likely to be extensible and scalable.
  • A minimal API is more likely to be future-proof and adaptable.
  • A minimal API is more likely to be user-friendly and accessible.
  • A minimal API is more likely to be well-received and appreciated.
  • A minimal API is more likely to be successful and sustainable.

Link Considered Options

  1. Have a minimal and intuitive API.
  2. Have a feature-rich and complex API.
  3. Have a complex API but provide extensive documentation and examples.

Link Decision Outcome

Chosen option: “option 1”, because a minimal and intuitive API aligns with the core principles of VMware Secrets Manager and will help drive adoption and success. In addition, a minimal API will require less maintenance, be easier to test, and be more likely to meet the needs of developers without overwhelming them with unnecessary complexity. This would help the core team and contributors to focus on the core functionality and quality of the service.

Link Positive Consequences

  • Improved developer experience.
  • Faster adoption and integration.
  • Reduced cognitive load on developers.
  • Easier to maintain and evolve.
  • Easier to test and validate.
  • Easier to document and support.

Link Negative Consequences

  • Potential limitations in functionality.
  • Potential reduced flexibility for advanced use cases.
  • Potential resistance from users who prefer a feature-rich API.
  • Potential need for additional features in the future that may conflict with the need for a minimal API.



Link ADRs

You can view the ADRs by browsing this following list:

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