What is an API?
Application programming interface (API) is a set of clearly outlined ways of communication between several software components. IT services & support experts from Firewall Technical in Ottawa point out that a great API will make it simpler to create a computer program by offering all the building blocks, which a programmer then puts together.
Application: This can be a software program that you use or applications that you use on your smartphone.
Programming: Developers write software using APIs.
Interface: Your interaction with the application.
Types of APIs
These are released by companies such as Shopify and Slack in expectations that developers will use them to create on their websites. The organization will share a set of inputs, which you can use to attain specific outputs. For each input, they concur to offer an output that doesn’t vary.
You do not have to submit your app for authorization for a public API. They are often recorded and can be accessed without a lot of fanfare.
In the case of Slack, their application programming interface is accessible to browse and use.
These are used internally at an organization. If an organization has many software products, private APIs are used for the software to “communicate” with each other.
Importance of APIs
Your Internet experience runs on APIs. Rather than accessing four different organizations four separate times, you can access all four simultaneously using one software.
APIs make your process streamlined
Previously, you would log into Twitter and Facebook separately, respond when you were tagged, check messages and run search terms. Nowadays, you can see it all in one view, eliminating extra time thanks to the networks’ APIs.
Your life gets easier with apps
If you’re using public transit, you probably have an app letting you know the arrival of the next bus. You can know which bus arrives next and when, as the app uses the transit’s API, saving you time ultimately.
APIs make companies expand
The potential of a company can grow when they provide an API. When a company has an API with developers who are willing to build on it, it can expand the company’s offerings to lots of people.
Mint is a good example of a software which can connect with multiple financial institutions and compile it in one area. The main work of a bank is storing your hard earned money and documenting the expenses of your credit card. The financial institution lets Mint link up with its API, to help you better manage your money, not to mention remain a customer at the bank.
5 Things You need to know About APIs
- Developers work with APIs to build apps and software. It is uncommon for the end user to interact with an API directly.
- APIs function as a gate, enabling businesses not only to share selected data but also help to keep out unwanted requests.
- Your life can run a bit smoother thanks to APIs. When airlines share information about prices and flights, travel websites can compile all of them and assist you with a comparison.
- Companies are built on APIs. An example of a software which is built on the APIs of social media networks is Sprout Social.
- If you are managing your social media with a third-party app, it may not be the app’s problem that a feature is not being given. It is that the network does not have it as part of their API.