What Is an API Application Programming Interface?

In simple terms, an API allows one program to interact with another program. For example, you can create an app that lets users send messages to each other through Facebook Messenger. Under the hood, you can use Facebook Messenger API to integrate this functionality into your application using automation to implement these API calls. One great place to start using APIs is to customize your interaction with your customer relationship management (CRM) platform. Some providers allow users to develop custom tools, manipulate their data, or customize their page layouts — and APIs will let you do it all.

api meaning

Greater functionality and scope of services increase the value delivered to users and improves the customer experience. For example, the previously website anticipates a customer’s needs related to searching for real estate. An API gateway is an application programming interface (API) management tool that sits between a client and a collection of backend services. The 2 architectural approaches that use remote APIs most are service-oriented architecture (SOA) and microservices architecture.

What are API integrations?

As an alternative to REST, GraphQL lets developers construct requests that pull data from multiple data sources in a single API call. In recent years, the OpenAPI specification has emerged as a common standard for defining REST APIs. OpenAPI establishes a language-agnostic way for developers to build REST API interfaces https://deveducation.com/ so that users can understand them with minimal guesswork. Webhooks are lightweight callback functions that facilitate event-driven communication between APIs. In the traditional request-response cycle, an API client actively sends a request to an API server in order to retrieve data or perform actions.

This type of integration is called “seamless” because you never know when a software role passes from one application to another. Good APIs make it easier to develop a computer program by providing all the building blocks, which are then put together by the programmer. In fact, APIs are often compared to Legos for this reason, because you can mix and match and reuse them infinitely to build new services. Essentially, they’re a go-between for different software platforms. They allow two unrelated applications to “talk” to each other.

Resources for AWS

A typical application doesn’t have direct access to the raw physical hard disk. There’s an API for that, too, so you don’t have to test every different Android manufacturer’s fingerprint sensor. If you want to embed a web browser to show one or more web pages, for example, you don’t have to program your own web browser from scratch just for your application.

api meaning

There are APIs for nearly every category imaginable, from data to travel and even sports. For example, rather than investing time and resources to create their own payment processing system, many applications use a payment processing API like Stripe instead. The state of a resource at any particular instant, or timestamp, is known as the resource representation. This information can be delivered to a client in virtually any format including JavaScript Object Notation (JSON), HTML, XLT, Python, PHP, or plain text.

A single API can have multiple implementations (or none, being abstract) in the form of different libraries that share the same programming interface. The API describes and prescribes the “expected behavior” (a specification) api explanation while the library is an “actual implementation” of this set of rules. Containers are executables that package application code, together with its libraries and dependencies, and can be run on traditional IT or on any cloud.

api meaning

Each system is obliged to make internal changes so that the API is not impacted. This way, any future code changes by one party do not impact the other party. There are APIs for requesting text translation from Google Translate, or embedding Facebook comments or tweets from Twitter on a website. File systems that use permissions—as they do on Windows, Mac, and Linux—have those permissions enforced by the file system API.

The tradeoff is rarely simple, but there are some common considerations for the major API formats. A partner API, only available to specifically selected and authorized outside developers or API consumers, is a means to facilitate business-to-business activities. Businesses like Oracle Eloqua, Salesforce, and Marketo use APIs to integrate applications to boost lead routing. Here at Axway, we know APIs are the building blocks of modern business, so we’ve designed the Amplify API Management Platform to automate their discovery and management.

  • Some widely adopted API authorization methods include OAuth 2.0 and API keys.
  • The API surface area is the outside layer of the program or component, like the wall of a cell, as shown in Figure 1.
  • SOAP is also extensible and style-independent, which enables developers to write SOAP APIs in varied ways and easily add features and functionality.
  • You hop onto one of those flight deal sites and put in your travel info.

The answer is through the use of an application programming interface, or API. Using well-designed APIs lets us compose our software of logically distinct components. These components can be maintained in relative isolation, and the functionality behind them can be reused between different applications.

Leave a Comment

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

Scroll to Top