What Is An API? How It Is Useful?
- August 11, 2017
- Posted by: Vivek Shah
- Category: API
With the rise in the time and technology, the demands are also changing. The new scenario is about the data centric world where the devices are connected with each other to provide information immediately. So when the number of devices are increasing, the complexity is also rising which makes the code more difficult. To avoid such situations, the APIs came to the market, and its first approach has gained most of the traction.
To build the application software an API (Application Programming Interface) is required. These APIs are the set of protocols, subroutines, and tools that help to communicate with the other software. These requirements will govern one application to talk to another. The use of APIs is not new. While using the laptop or desktops sometimes there is a need of doing the copy paste from LibreOffice document to the Excel sheets. In this case, the system level APIs are required.
Similarly, these APIs are also necessary for the web which helps to make it possible to communicate with the big services like Google maps or Facebook. The API is essential for web based, operating systems, database system, and computer hardware or software library. The various forms of the APIs are the C++ standard, Java APIs, Microsoft windows API and much more.
What Is The Need Of The API?
The government officials are facing lots of problems for transferring the large volumes of data to the other departments and with the citizens. To resolve these issues, the APIs are necessary which acts as a door or window. It allows interacting with the software program without the help of a developer and the code of it.
The hard level coding is also not required to retrieve the information that reduces the content which is necessary to store on the application. Downloading the high-resolution images creates problems for the users. It will download those images which are essential for the user with the help of the API and the app.
Not only it is assisting the government, but the private companies are also getting the advantage of it. It contributes to explore the data to the outside world or to select the partners in the business. It opens new opportunities for the companies which are powerful and beneficial. Once the installation is over, then it brings an enormous amount of profit for the enterprise.
Nowadays, we are using some applications in smartphones, laptops, and in other devices which help to communicate with the backend functions through the support of APIs. For example, the refrigerators will ask for the maintenance to their manufacturer, same applies for the cars and some smart electric devices will provide the information about the consumption and utility of the companies.
What Are The Benefits Of Using The APIs?
- It is easy to learn the process.
- The process of using it is simple.
- They fulfill the purpose of the customers or clients.
- Maintaining as well as to upgrade the code is effortless.
- They are scalable.
The feedbacks are necessary for building a better API so that the things will run smoothly without any glitches. Working in a team gives more benefits while building an API. Always avoid the number of web methods in the design which keep the redundancy to the minimum, and the consistency will remain better.
How To Get The Confirmation Whether The API Is Correct Or Not?
During the time of building an API, proper care and attention is necessary. There are some points one should consider while making it.
Set Your Goal
Before starting the project, configure the expectation from the get-go. Always define the roles and responsibilities of the API from the beginning. There will be hundreds of projects where some data will be related to each other. They avoid the hard coding. The developer should know about the retrieval of data, the process of creating it, or about the update. Proper documentation is necessary which will help the developer to design the API according to the requirement with a clear understanding.
Develop Fast And Responsive API
When an app or website is running in the API, a quick response is necessary. So there are many ways to solve it. One of these techniques is the caching which is beneficial. It stores the response of the request which is frequently changing instead of changing the whole database. It is the simplest way, not the only way.
Testing of API
While creating the API, a contract is creating with the other applications and the websites. Sometimes the API goes down which creates problem likes taking all other applications to down. In this case, the automated testing is useful. Proper testing is necessary to avoid the production problems and also helps in debugging process.
Principles of Restful
It is a web standard based architecture that uses the HTTP protocol for the communication purpose. It provides access to the resources and the clients to access it. It helps to exchange the data between the applications and system. The method helps to ensure the design of the API so that the other development teams can interact with it. It contributes to speed-up the process.
The APIs are providing tremendous opportunities which help to connect with billions of applications and websites every day and every minute. The connectivity and computing are rising across the globe like Amazon Alexa, Artificial Intelligence and much more which helps to open new doors in the field of business as well as other areas.