How do you think the app functionalities sync with each other so effortlessly and connect to the Internet and send data to a server? That’s because of an API. An API, which stands for Application Programming Interface, is responsible for providing a generic connectivity interface to an application.
The way humans form a conversation with each other or with animals using gestures and all, similarly, there is a certain way computer programs connect with each other in order to understand the functioning of the applications and softwares which is popularly known as API.
The term API is doing rounds on the internet and people, who do not find solace in getting comfortable with technical jargon, always find it difficult to explore. But not anymore. Today, we will learn a lot about APIs and their benefits in business upfront.
Let’s first understand the API in a precise manner with everyday examples.
Definition of API + Examples
API is a set of predefined coding instructions that allows third-party apps to assimilate with existing ones. Since developing a mobile app is one of the challenging tasks, the APIs enable developers to use some awesome already-invented features into their apps without reinventing the whole programming from scratch. In short, API makes the app functioning incredible with less coding.
The very basic example of API in the mobile app world is Google Maps API. With the help of Google maps, users can navigate recommended shops, restaurants, hotels, etc. from their smartphone. Apart from this, Facebook API which allows users to sync their device with the newly installed game or boost social engagement with multiple social media sharing is another great example of API.
What Are Different Types of APIs?
There are mainly four types of APIs.
- Open APIs – It is also known as public API. As this is publicly available, the users find no restrictions on accessing these APIs. Such APIs provide developers with programmatic access to exclusive software applications. When an external app allows with SSO option through Facebook or any other social media, that could be concluded as an open API.
- Partner APIs – The developers require a specific license to access such APIs as unlike open APIs, they are not available publicly. Such APIs are exposed to strategic business partners. Amazon via AWS certification program, Salesforce with AppExchange Partner Program are some common examples of partner API.
- Internal APIs – As the name itself suggests, internal APIs are crafted to be used internally within an organization. Internal APIs are mainly put to use by a mobile app development company while developing an app in order to bring enhancement in services as instructed by the product owner. For example, the Guardian’s internal API helps speed up the app development process for the company.
- Composite APIs – Different from the above-mentioned APIs, composite APIs are the combination of data and service APIs. The main objective of such APIs is to accelerate the execution process and elude the need for multiple round trips to a server. For instance, a shopping cart API requires several endpoints such as add order item, create customer, etc. which is possible because of composite API.
Why APIs Are Important to Businesses?
There are many technical standpoints that help APIs win over businesses. The way interfaces enable different programs to communicate with each other enables enterprises to grow into new areas that many enterprises never thought was possible. But you might be thinking in what ways the integration of valuable code and technology through APIs can businesses flourish? Let’s have a look.
- APIs Are Time Saver – The core reason why businesses are using APIs is to save time on many things. For example, with the SSO implementation, the practice of creating a whole new platform with a solution is becoming less sustainable with time. Therefore, the companies instead of connecting with developers for on-demand app development choose the path of deploying APIs which eventually gives enterprises an advantage to make the process quick.
- To enable new-technologies – It is believed that APIs are now emerging to be the core component of mobile app architecture for many businesses. When enterprises take someone else’s work to stimulate their own product or service, it is not they are doing something illicit but exposing themselves to new-technology which for them is going to shape the business insight for good.
- Stimulate Business Innovation – Do you know that Uber relies heavily on APIs to run their everyday business with core competencies? Not only giants like Uber, but there are also many companies who go with APIs. The APIs leverage enterprises to focus on business needs rather than assimilating softwares for future use.
- To Attain Over-the-Top Digital Experience – Businesses have now grown smarter to facilitate their multichannel ecosystem with tech-driven components. The building or buying APIs create a better engaging experience for the customers. For example, personalization, integration, etc. becomes easier for businesses to get an insight into user data with the implementation of several APIs.
Now as you have gained an immense knowledge of APIs and how different APIs are integrated with solutions to get third-party apps in sync with each other, you might be considering using an API for your business. Since API is like an open-language, the success lies in using it with other apps rightfully. So without wasting any time, get in touch with app development companies and explore through RESTful APIs to know which one you can integrate to modernize your ecosystem.