CLI Versus API: Deciding which one to use

Options for Implementing Automated Check

You can use either the Platform API or the CLI (Command Line Interface) to automate Acrolinx checking in your content creation workflow. Both options offer different benefits, depending on your use case. One approach could be using the CLI for prototyping and using the API or an SDK for developing the integration.

How to Decide

Compare the benefits of the API and CLI against your use case requirements.

When Is the API the Better Option? 

  • You'd like to call a Web Service directly.

  • Installing software like the CLI in the execution environment is not an option.

  • You need high performance:

    • Save on the overhead of starting an executable.

    • Optimize everything for your specific use case and configuration.

    • The CLI has built-in error handling and commands for outputting results. If your use case doesn't benefit from these features, you can improve the speed of your integration by avoiding these extra calls.

  • The CLI doesn't yet support your special use case.

  • If you want Acrolinx to analyze several different files that each require different settings.

When Is the CLI the Better Option?

  • You're not a developer, but you know how to write a command-line script. You might be able to implement an automated check without any additional help from a developer.

  • You prefer to avoid doing extra steps for standard functionality that the CLI covers. 

  • You value robustness against compatibility changes. The CLI handles the communication with the Platform. If we change the way the integrations and Core Platform communicate, we’ll update the CLI.

  • The CLI is a standard Acrolinx Integration. It's compatibility with all (valid) configurations of the Platform and can handle changes in configurations. If you use the API to build an integration, you might (unknowingly) hard code a specific configuration.

  • You value standard CLI features:

    • Compiler style output

    • JSON output

    • XUnit style output

    • text-based UI

  • The CLI is highly scriptable. During development, we ensure that other command-line tools can process the results.

  • In particular, the following options help you combine the CLI with other tools and scripts:

    • Silent mode

    • Well thought-out output to stdout and stderr

    • Different options for the exit code so you can control whether to indicate success or failure

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