WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT APPLICATION PROGRAMMING INTERFACE (API) vol. 1

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT APPLICATION PROGRAMMING INTERFACE

API is an abbreviation for Application Programming Interface. It is a highly significant term that is utilized everywhere nowadays, especially in development. As a developer, you’ve probably heard the word “API” from a team member while working on a project or from a friend. The main question here, though, is “what exactly is that API?” Worry not, this post sought to provide a very easy introduction to the concept of API. I’ve decided to divide this article into sub-topics for easier comprehension, which include:

API definition from a conceptual standpoint

API definition in terms of development

API definition in the context of web development

API classifications

Advantages of Using API

Understanding API from a conceptual standpoint

To comprehend the Application Programming Interface conceptually, you must first understand what an interface is. Consider a radio with two knobs, one for tuning in and the other for adjusting the volume. And you have an antenna and an internet system that allows you to receive radio signals from or connect to various stations, after which you can play. This is the system that operates internally. For example, if you wish to adjust the volume, there will be an internal mechanism in place to assure volume adjustment. However, from the standpoint of listeners who are listening to music on any station, there are two things that listeners can change: either the stations or the volume. As a system user, you are simply concerned with what you wish to accomplish with this system. As a result of this basic analogy, as a user, you have only bordered on what you want without contemplating how the system works internally. This system provides a simple interface for you to do tasks while abstracting the core procedures within itself. As a result, we can say that this system provides two APIs: one for changing the frequency of any station of your choosing and another for increasing or decreasing the loudness. As a result, API can now be described conceptually as a simple means that the system provides to users to access the resources of the system in order to accomplish his/her tasks without regard for the internal mechanisms of the system or the complexity of the system because the internal mechanisms are independent of the users.

HOT POST:  WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT CYBERSECURITY 

Understanding API from the standpoint of a developer

Let us now examine the meaning of API from the standpoint of a developer, as well as the actual notion in which it has been employed. As a result, we can categorize where API has been used.

Framework and software library

APIs for remote access

OS (operating system)

APIs for websites

Framework and software library

API can be viewed as something you created by giving multiple methods in this area. For example, suppose you created a software library and uploaded it to GitHub or another open source platform for others to use in their projects. If a user used your software library with the method you created without bordering the code or library from which the service came from, this is referred to as API.

In this context, API simply refers to the objects and methods exposed by a framework that can be consumed and used by the framework’s user to accomplish a given task.

OS (Operating System)

API is derived from the concept of operating system and signifies that the operating system provides numerous methods for accessing system resources via the interface between application and operating system. For example, if you wish to perform a file opening function, all you need to do is supply the file’s path to the operating system, and it will execute the remaining activities for you to edit or write to the file without limiting you in any way. You do not need to be concerned with the internal operations involved in opening the file from the file storage. As a result, APIs are the techniques supplied by the operating system to communicate with system resources in order to carry out this function.

APIs for remote access

API can also be categorized from this standpoint as the method by which you are attempting to access the resources. This means that if you have a database somewhere in the cloud and you are accessing it and creating anything with the data, the database will provide an API that you can use remotely. For example, suppose you’re creating an application in Java; Java includes support for database connectivity. As a developer, you can query the various types of databases using the same ways offered by database connectivity using consistent techniques that will function on both regardless of the changes in the database types. That API offered by Java is capable of accessing many databases, and we are not concerned with how it did so; rather, we are concerned with whether or not I will obtain this result if I use this method.

HOT POST:  Tesla reveals more about how its Magic Dock charging system actually works

APIs for websites

The majority of the time, APIs are classified as web APIs, and this is the most common setting in which people discuss APIs. Web API is a programming interface or application type that allows software applications to communicate or interact with one another. It is frequently used to provide a data access interface for web pages and client applications. Web APIs can be used to retrieve data from a database and save it back. When there is an interface between an enterprise and an application, Web APIs come into play. This implies you have a server somewhere and it is delivering certain services such as video streaming, social network access, and so on, therefore the organization provides various APIs so that you can interact with those services. Web APIs give URLs that API users can utilize to access resources. It specifies the HTTP protocol to be utilized as well as the desired answer.

Understanding APIs from the Standpoint of Web Development

This is the most typical application for APIs. Essentially, we develop a website and give a mechanism for clients to view the website. Assume you own a business and have a catalog of products. In order for consumers to use your APIs, you must send an HTTP request. Because you are providing a remote service, you must use the HTTP protocol. Using HTTP, you must give an endpoint URL that end users can use to access your services. So, if you have a service operating in your backend, you must expose one of the infrastructure methods that can be accessed via the url. The URL may be something like this: http://jobscola.com/jobs?type=” ”

HOT POST:  WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT WEB DEVELOPMENT AND ITS ADVANTAGES (vol. 2)

You must provide the following items here:

API endpoint through HTTP

Methods such as GET and POST will be used.

The query parameters (the request format)

Headers

Response format (JSON, XML, or anything else)

Type of error for the system to respond to if an error occurs.

API classifications

APIs are classified into numerous categories.

APIs for main, provisional, and ownership. APIs are classified under this category.

APIs that are open or public

APIs that are internal or private

APIs from partners

APIs that are composites

APIs for Data and Services – APIs in this area are divided into two types.

APIs for data access

APIs for Internal Services

APIs for External Services

APIs for User Experience

APIs for Web Services/API Protocols

REST API (Representational State Transfer API)

SOAP API (Simple Object Access Protocol): (stands for Simple Object Access Protocol)

XML-RPC

API for WebSockets

JSON-RPC

APIs Organized by Category or Application

APIs for searching

APIs for dictionaries

APIs for weather data

APIs for sports

APIs for Food and Restaurants

API for IP Geolocation

APIs for communication

APIs at the highest level

APIs on a low level

APIs Organized by Use Cases

APIs for databases

APIs for operating systems

The Web API

Advantages of Using API

There are far too many advantages to using APIs to list. The following are some of the advantages:

Internal and external system integration

Adding or improving internal and external system functionality

Adding or improving customer functionality

Accelerating the software and system development process

Reduced operational costs

Cost savings in software development

Enhancing software and system testing

enabling the development of mobile applications

Conclusion

We have learned a lot about APIs in this article. We studied the significance of APIs from a conceptual standpoint, as well as how the developer demonstrated an understanding of the API concept. We also learned what API means from the standpoint of web development, as well as the many types of APIs and the benefits of using APIs.

I hope you understand what the API entails and how it differs in the development environment.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *