Full Form of API

API stands for an Application Programming Interface. It is a set of programming codes that help data transmission from one software to other.

It is a software mediator that helps us with connect two software applications to talk to each other. In other words, we can say that API is a messenger that delivers our message to provider and then delivers the response back to us.

Usage of API

  • API in a procedural language: It provides a set of functions that helps to complete the tasks.
  • API in an object-oriented language: It shows how an object works in OOPs language with the help of API. We can say that it is a set of classes with list of class methods in API.
  • API in framework and libraries: As the name suggests, it works on the software framework and libraries.

How does API work?

It provides a working principle and mechanism that helps the software to communicate with each other. In other words, we can say that API is a set of rules that tells how computers, applications, or machines talk to each other.

  • First, a client requests API to get the necessary information. This request is from a software application to the web browser.
  • After that, the web server is called when the API receives a valid request from the user.
  • The server returns the desired data response to an API call. After that, the first application that performed the request, received the data.

Component of API

There are two components of API as follows:

  1. Technical specification: Technical specification is used to describe the exchange of data between the solution in the form of processing and data delivery.
  2. Software interface: It is used to access the information or functionality from other software. We can call it API specifying the requirement for how data must be provided.

API functions calls

API is implemented by function calls that request software to perform a specific task. Function calls are composed of verbs or nouns that tell the machine to understand what to do next.

  •  It helps with             starting or finishing a session.
  • We can get facility for a single room type.
  • We can restore the data or any object from the server.

We can describe the function calls and parameters in the API documents. In other words, manual developers include all the necessary information on how to work with API.

Types of APIs

There are different types of APIs. It is categorized based on different design purposes:

API by release policies

According to release policies, there are three types of APIs:

Private, partner, and public.

Private APIs

Private APIs contain application software that is used to improve the design of organizational services and solutions. It is used by in-house developers and contractors to integrate the IT sector companies or make new application systems.

In other words, private APIs act as front-end and back-end data and application functions so; we can provide an interface to the developers. We can access private APIs with the help of endpoint-specific DNS hostnames.

Partner APIs

The partner APIs allow us to perform all the GET operations as a partner that we do in our partner store. It is built with the help of REST principles. It helps to ensure the URLs that make it easy to write and retrieve the data related to your partner store.

Partner APIs follow HTTP rules. For example, Amazon API

Public APIs

It is also known as Open APIs. We can say that it is an API that helps to data available to the public and software developers. With the help of Public APIs we can increase the brand value and source income of our firms that's why we gave this APIs to the third-party developers.

  • A public API program allows for increasing brand awareness and receiving an additional source of income when properly executed.
  • There are two types of public APIs: Open and commercial ones.
  • In this type of APIs, we provide the feature to the public without any terms and conditions. So we can build an application that works without any problems.
  • For example, we can build an application that work without any approval from anyone and there is no need for licensing fees. In other hands, we need to pay subscription fees to use the commercial APIs.
  • We can give the approach among the publishers that we give free trials so users can evaluate APIs before purchasing the subscriptions.

Need of APIs

We need new tools for increasing the speed of procedure, so with the help of APIs, we can develop or manage the tools.

Following are some key advantages of APIs:

Enhanced cooperation: With the help of API we can make integration feasible. We can also enable the uninterrupted connection between different platforms and programmers. With this connectivity, we can improve our business and teamwork and increase the speed of processes. Many firms would have information structure and lack of connectivity in the absence of API which would hurt the productivity and performance of any firm.

Easy innovation: With the help of APIs, we can use the new tools so that companies connect with the new business partners and make good use of their ideas.

 If we offer new services in the present market we can access ultimate markets that have the potential to generate maximum profit and enhance the speed.

Data monetization: In data monetization, we can make money with the use of APIs directly or indirectly.

In other words, it is a process of utilizing the data to procure economic benefits. Data monetization involves selling data to a third party directly or broker, data sharing to obtain a benefit in business terms and conditions, offer information services and products to the developers.

Additional security: APIs give us an additional layer of security between our data and a web server. If we can establish the API gateways, we can monitor things easily so we can improve our security by employing tokens. We can also use API management in very effective way. So, we can increase the further security and do many more things with the help of APIs.

Use Cases of APIs

APIs can be classified according to different system designs. There are four types of use cases in APIs.

  • Database APIs
  • Operating system APIs
  • Remote APIs
  • Web APIs

Database APIs

Database APIs help to enable the connection between an application and a database management system. It is also known as a database application programming interface. With the help of database APIs, developers work with the database by writing queries to access data, changes table, etc. For example, it helps to allow developers to write unified queries for the different database tables with the help of Oracle, MongoDB, PostgreSQL, MySQL and, Couch DB, etc.

Operating System APIs

In this type of API, we define how an application uses the resources and services of the operating system. OS APIs are known as operating system application programming interfaces.

In every operating system, we have a set of APIs. For example, Windows have its own sets of APIs and Linux have its own sets of APIs.

Remote APIs

Remote APIs helps us to interact between the application and machine that are running of different machines. In other words, we can say that remote APIs are software product that helps to access the resources located outside the device, which explain the name of these APIs.

With the help of APIs we can connect the two remote applications and make a particular communication network that is written based on the web servers. For example, there are two examples of remote APIs, Java database connectivity API, and Java remote method invocation API, etc.

Web APIs

In APIs class, web API is the most common API. Web APIs provide us machine-readable data and data transfer between web-based systems which represent the client-server structures. This type of API uses HTTP protocol (Hypertext Transfer Protocol). It is used to deliver a request from web applications and responses. Developers can use web APIs to increase the functionality of applications and servers. 

Advantages of APIs

  • Applications: It helps to access the APIs server to ensure flexibility in the information transfer process.
  • Reach: With the help of APIs, we can create layers in apps to distribute information to different types of audiences.
  • Customization: It can serve as a solution also to create custom tools. We can create different experiences for the user, letting protocols, functions, and commands adapted according to the user or developers' demands.
  • Efficiency: APIs allow for more efficient data distribution if we have content that automatically publishes different channels simultaneously.
  • Adaptability: It is one of the greatest benefits of APIs that it can adapt the changes through the data and flexibility of services.