Application Programming Interface (API) simplifies the process of integrating various applications by providing readily available codes and information pipelines to assist developers in building robust digital solutions. API acts as a mediator among applications to streamline the interaction with one other. However, due to diverse applications architectures, API can be of different types like Program, Local, Web, or REST API.
Introduction to API
Application Programming Interface, abbreviated as API, enables connection between computers or computer programs. It is a Software Interface that offers services to other software to enhance the required functionalities. Over the past few years, API has gained popularity in the market for almost every web application. For instance, each time you check the weather or book a travel ticket on your smartphone, an API is called at the backend.
As API enables businesses to open their applications’ data and functionality to external third-party developers, it eventually grows business partnerships, driving more revenue.
Understanding of HTTP and Web Services.
Why would we need an API?
Here, are some reason for using API:
•Application Programming Interface acronym API helps two different software’s to communicate and exchange data with each other.
•It helps you to embed content from any site or application more efficiently.
•APIs can access app components. The delivery of services and information is more flexible.
•Content generated can be published automatically.
•It allows the user or a company to customize the content and services which they use the most.
•Software needs to change over time, and APIs help to anticipate changes.
Features of API
Here are some important features of API:
•It offers a valuable service (data, function, audience,.).
•It helps you to plan a business model.
•Simple, flexible, quickly adopted.
•Managed and measured.
•Offers great developer support.
Types of API
There are mainly four main types of APIs:
•Open APIs: These types of APIs are publicly available to use like OAuth APIs from Google. It has also not given any restriction to use them. So, they are also known as Public APIs.
•Partner APIs: Specific rights or licenses to access this type of API because they are not available to the public.
•Internal APIs: Internal or private. These APIs are developed by companies to use in their internal systems. It helps you to enhance the productivity of your teams.
•Composite APIs: This type of API combines different data and service APIs.
Application of API
- Batch Distribution / Drive Traffic.
- Expand Footprint.
- Feature Development
- Explore New Business Models.
- Content Acquisition Advance Business Model.
- Internal Content Distribution / Innovation.
When running on a server, an API is a set of coded routines that receives requests from and sends responses to other programs. API designers implement that code through standardized programming statements that expose functions that make sense for accessing the platform in question.
For example, suppose you wanted to incorporate a map to your business on your website or display a list of your latest tweets. You can’t directly access Google Maps or Twitter — the code that runs those sites sits on Google and Twitter servers. But those platforms provide APIs that let authorized users retrieve data from their sites.
The Google Maps API and Twitter API may be among the most widely used API examples, but most software-as-a-service (SaaS) providers offer APIs that let developers write code that posts data to and retrieves data from the provider’s site as well.
Most types of APIs have several methods, or operations, that allow developers to create, retrieve, update, and delete data. The verbs used to implement these methods are, respectively, POST, GET, PUT, and DELETE. Each method generally takes a payload in the form of a file in a defined format (usually JSON or XML) that contains the data to be operated on, and uses a URI (Uniform Resource Identifier) that acts as an address where the API can interact with the calling program.
Here’s how an API works:
•A client application initiates an API call to retrieve information—also known as a request. This request is processed from an application to the web server via the API’s Uniform Resource Identifier (URI) and includes a request verb, headers, and sometimes, a request body.
•After receiving a valid request, the API makes a call to the external program or web server.
•The server sends a response to the API with the requested information.
•The API transfers the data to the initial requesting application.
Why API design matters
•Good API design is critical for successful API use, and software architects spend considerable time reviewing all the possible applications of an API and the most logical way for it to be used.
•The data structures and parameter values are of particular importance because they must match between the caller of an API and its publisher.
•Strong security is an important aspect of API design. Exploitation of misconfigured APIs is a
common practice for cyber attackers. APIs are a gateway that present an organization’s systems and data to internal and external users — any compromise can create broad and serious security problems.
Application Programming Interface (API) is a software interface that allows two applications to interact with each other without any user intervention. API is a collection of software functions and procedures. In simple terms, API means a software code that can be accessed or executed. API is defined as a code that helps two different software’s to communicate and exchange data with each other.
It offers products or services to communicate with other products and services without having to know how they’re implemented.