What is an API?

Concerned about “What is an API?”. The term “API” refers to an Application Programming Interface. The key role of an API is the facilitation of effective communication between two applications. You can easily pull out and share valuable data using APIs between or within organizations.

APIs exist everywhere. For instance, conducting an online payment, using a weather app, or adjusting thermostat temperature through mobile, all involve API usage.

How do APIs Work?

APIs working rely on the internet connection. For instance, using any of the above-mentioned apps, the internet facilitates the data transfer to the server. Later, the server deals with interpretation or necessary actions on data and sends you back. Then, the mobile app again interprets the received data in an easy to read manner.

What are the Characteristics of an Effective API?

APIs have contributed a lot to the complete transformation of technological space through unique characteristics.

  1. Modern APIs feature adherence to set standards, including REST and HTTP. This makes APIs understandable, accessible, developer-friendly, and self-described.
  2. In today’s age, the APIs are not a code. Rather, they are products. They feature a design to fulfill the requirements of the particular audience (i.e., mobile developers).
  3. As the latest APIs feature more standardization. You can manage them or monitor their scaling and performance.
  4. These APIs cater to high-level governance and security. For example, an API never exposes complete data to the server during communication. The data transfer or communication takes place in the form of data packets. This enables the sharing of only needed data.
  5. Each API similar to software as a product obeys SDLC (Software Development Lifecycle). The key stages include mock-up preparation, design, testing, building, management, and, in the end, retirement.

In today’s world, the value of the APIs is undeniable. The Plethora of businesses today rely on APIs for revenue. As per recent studies, over 35% of organizations generate their revenue through APIs.

How APIs Enable Digital Tranformation?

Digital transformation is now become the top priority for many companies to stay competitive in the market. This is because APIs assist in fostering stronger connections, innovations, and digitalization of services and products. In reality, over 90% of chief executives agree on the necessity of APIs for project success. By employing the API strategies, you can ensure innovation, growth and smooth operations. Using APIs in business operations can result in:

  • Acceleration and simplification of different market strategies
  • Better customer interaction
  • Double up operations speed and agility
  • Foster the establishment of extra revenue, channel opportunities, and market

What are the 4 types of API?

Four key types exist especially for APIs such as:

Public/Open APIs

They refer to open source APIs that you can access using HTTP protocol. You can use them to assess response or request format or API endpoints.

Partner APIs

Only developers can get access to these APIs in self-service mode from the public developer portal. For this, you need to complete the onboarding process and may require login details. They accentuate the needs of business partners.

Internal/Private APIs

No external user can get access to these APIs. This is why they refer to Private APIs. Only company or organization employees can access and use these APIs for internal development and productivity enhancement.

Composite APIs

Using these APIs, you can combine many service or data APIs. Through single calls, developers can get access to multiple endpoints. These APIs are a perfect fit where to do a single task, you need insights from various sources.

Read about “What is API management?