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Stainless Simplifies Building Best-in-Class SDKs for OpenAI, Anthropic, and Others

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By: Headliners News / May 20, 2024

What’s the one thing OpenAI, Anthropic, and Together AI have in common, besides their focus on generative AI? They all rely on Stainless, a platform crafted by ex-Stripe dynamo Alex Rattray, to generate SDKs for their APIs.

Rattray’s journey from economics studies at the University of Pennsylvania to engineering gigs at Stripe wasn’t your typical trajectory. His knack for building things, whether it was an underground newspaper in high school or a bike-share program in college, eventually led him to coding. At Stripe, while overhauling API documentation and launching the system powering Stripe’s API client SDK, Rattray noticed a glaring gap: the absence of a scalable solution for building SDKs for APIs.

“Why the need for an SDK alongside an API?” you might ask. While APIs facilitate communication between software components, SDKs offer a toolkit for developers to interact with those APIs seamlessly. Without SDKs, users are left to decipher API docs and build everything from scratch, far from an ideal scenario.

Meet Stainless, Rattray’s brainchild. It ingests an API spec and churns out SDKs in various programming languages—Python, TypeScript, Kotlin, Go, Java, to name a few. As APIs evolve, Stainless ensures that SDKs stay up-to-date with versioning options and publish changelogs.

While API companies typically have teams that are dedicated to building libraries for each new language, this leads to inconsistencies and constant maintenance. However, Stainless solves this by automating SDK generation. They aren’t the only API-to-SDK generator out there (LibLab and Speakeasy ring a bell), its secret sauce lies in its “polish,” partly fueled by generative AI.

By leveraging generative AI, Stainless kickstarts the SDK creation process, saving time and effort. This is particularly beneficial for AI companies, as it simplifies integrations for novice developers that are tackling complex features like chat streaming. This appeal hasn’t gone unnoticed, attracting clients like OpenAI, Anthropic, Together AI, and more. With a growing clientele, Stainless has cemented its place in the API landscape, with some SDKs—like OpenAI’s Python SDK—racking up millions of downloads weekly.

If your company wants to be a platform, having a stellar API is non-negotiable. Quality SDKs often drive faster integration, broader adoption, quicker upgrades, and trust in your engineering prowess. By offering a range of pricing tiers, from free SDK publishing to enterprise plans, Stainless caters to diverse developer needs. While bootstrapped initially, Stainless recently secured $3.5 million in seed funding, underscoring investor confidence in its trajectory.

Stainless epitomizes the gold standard for overall developer experience, reminiscent of Stripe’s pioneering API codegen system. And, as APIs continue to underpin web services like LLMs, Stainless is poised to become the go-to platform for seamless, top-notch API interactions.

With a ten-person tech startup based in New York, Stainless is poised for growth, eyeing growing their headcount from 15 to 20 by year-end.

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