What is Application Programming Interface (API)?

What is Application Programming Interface (API)?

API, also known as Application Programming Interface is a type of software that allows two different software applications to connect. APIs contain a list of operations that developers can use with descriptions, meaning they can write less code. Using APIs can be compared to eating at a restaurant. You know what you’re getting but you don’t know exactly how the food is being made. An example of an API is when you are visiting a website and you are asked for your precise location. You can accept or decline the request.  

APIs can also be used when different businesses or teams would like to collaborate or collect data from outside sources.  

There are 3 different types of APIs present - private, public, and partner. Private APIs are for internal usage controlled by a company. Public APIs are available to everyone and third parties can interact with this type of API. The last type of API, partner APIsare shared with some business partners which allows for additional revenue streams without compromising quality.  

The two main APIs are SOAP and REST. SOAP (Simple Object Access Protocol) makes it easier to run applications in different environments or that are written in different languages. REST (Representational State Transfer) on the other hand, is an architectural style that contains no official standard. REST APIs consist of clients, servers, and resources that are handled through HTTP. JSON (Javascript Object Notation) is also another type of API which represents data that looks like JavaScript objects.  

You may be reading this wondering who can make an API? APIs can be made by virtually anyone. Large tech companies provide APIs to collect data and make that data available in a different application. They can be maintained by vendors or customer from government agencies to software startups  

APIs are necessary in order to allow the capabilities of one computer program to be used by another. They also support sales and marketing and increase revenue for companies. These are different from database-backed projects because APIs do not contain a backend.  

The benefits of using APIs include people doing less work as computers can manage it, meaning that companies can have more productive workflows. Additionally, because APIs can access different parts of applications, they can deliver more services, leading to significant increase in productivity and efficiency. 

Interested in learning more about our API services? Connect with our team. 

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