What Is An API?
API stands for “Application Programming Interface”. An API is software that allows applications to talk to each other. An API is software that delivers your request to the provider and then delivers the response back to you.
Brief History of APIs
APIs occurred in the early days of computing, well before the personal computer. At that time API was used as a library. The API was almost always local to the system on which it runs, it passed some messages among the mainframe. After 30 years, API come out of their local environment. By the 2000s, they were becoming an essential technology for the remote integration of data.
Types of an APIs
There are four types of web APIs.
- Public APIs: A public API is open and accessible for use by any outside developer. An enterprise that promotes a business strategy that involves sharing its applications with other businesses will develop and provide a public API.
- Partner APIs: A partner API, only accessible to specifically selected and authorized outside developers, is a means to promote business-to-business activities. For example, if a company wants to share its customer data with outside CRM firms, a partner API can connect the internal customer data with those external parties-no other API use is allowed.
- Internal APIs: A private API (internal API) is intended only for use within the enterprise to connect data within the business, For example, an internal API may connect a company payroll and HR system.
- Composite APIs: Composite APIs generally add two or more APIs to compose a sequence of related or interdependent operations. Composite APIs can be useful to address complex API behaviors, and can sometimes improve performance over individual APIs.
An API defines functionalities that are independent of their respective implementation. This allows those implementations to vary without comprising each other. Therefore, a good API provides building blocks, which makes it easier to develop a program. Developers create code by using the reusability of API, without the need to start from scratch. Through API reuse, developers can reduce complex processes and speed up their application development processes.
Working of an API
Suppose a waiter in a restaurant. The customer is sitting at the table with a menu to order food, and the kitchen is the provider who will fulfill your order. You need a connection to communicate your order to the kitchen and then provide your food back to your table. You need something to connect the customer who orders the dish and the chef who prepares it. Here the waiter takes your order and provides it to the kitchen, It then responds, in this way, the food, back to you. Moreover, if the API is designed accurately, hopefully, your order won’t crash!
What Is An API Interface?
Application Programming Interface simplifies software development by enabling applications to exchange data easily and securely. An Application Programming Interface enables the business to open up their applications ‘data to external third-party developers, or departments within their companies. This permits services to communicate with each other. The programmer does not concern about how an API is implemented; they simply use the interface to communicate with other products. API is so popular that most web applications today would not be possible without API.
Remote APIs are organized to interact through a communication network, which means that the resources being operated by the API are somewhere outside the computer by making the request. Because the most widely used communication network is the internet, most APIs are made based on web standards.
Needs of an APIs
Some of the main benefits of APIs include the following:
- Improve Collaboration
APIs enable integration so that these apps can communicate with one another. Through this integration, companies can improve their workplace collaboration.
- Easier innovation
APIs provide flexibility, allowing businesses to make connections with new business partners, and provide new services to their existing market.
- Added Security
APIs generate an added layer of protection between your data and the server. Developers can strengthen API security by using authentication tokens, signatures, and transport layer security encryption; by implementing API gateway to manage and authenticate traffic by practicing effective API management.