Application Programming Interface or API is a technological innovation that has helped developers and engineers worldwide incorporate abilities to applications that we may use every day but never knew about.
If you are a developer or someone learning about such technologies, you are already aware of the true capabilities of APIs and how they have assisted everyone.
But if you are a newcomer who has stepped into the field of Information Technology freshly and is eager to learn about APIs and what is the rise of APIs all about, this article is exactly what you need to read for the day.
Application Programming Interface: Understanding With an Example?
Imagine you are at a restaurant. You sit, and the waiter comes to your table, takes your order, goes to the kitchen, communicates with the chef, gets your food ready, and you get it directly to the table. You eat hot and tasty food while the waiter does his job of communicating to and fro.
That is exactly the job of an API in a technical scenario. You put in a command, your API takes the request, goes to the server, and brings back the data you requested, in just the way you’d like it. For instance a html to image api will use this to convert a html file to a high quality image.
Now that you have understood what an API is, you may be wondering what the sudden boom in its usage is? What is causing such a spike in its popularity? What are the aspects of API? How do we interact with the APIs daily?
To answer all of your questions, I’m now going to try and explain how many popular APIs exist in the technical world.
Yes, you have been interacting with the weather API for quite some time. The weather API communicates with you what the weather looks like today.
For instance, if it is going to be extremely sunny, your mobile phone or laptop will be fully capable of telling you that and much more. For instance, advanced APIs are also equipped with abilities to inform you of the perspiration levels or humidity. Thus, giving out data that helps in making qualitative decisions.
Weather APIs are available for almost every weather app, which retrieves and provides instant weather data on your desktop, laptop, or mobile phone. These APIs can also deliver additional details apart from weather data. For example, tomorrow.io’s product offers information on AQI and pollen spread on top of the standard weather details.
The maps API is also one of those that have been existing in the technological world. For instance, if you open a website or an application that has a feature of finding a place with the assistance of a map, or if you order food online and you can track the delivery guy through the aid of a map, you are using a map API.
You can see the use in many apps, such as food delivery and ride-sharing apps, that leverage map API to fetch map and location data.
Social Media APIs
Yes, social media APIs exist too for advanced users. You can opt to add Instagram and other social media APIs on your website to publish content from your handle onto your website directly. These enable you to extract analytics that helps you improve your campaign ideas.
It also increases your chances to increase leads and grow as a unit. The thing about social media APIs is that they are not just restricted to one social media platform but are spread across every single platform. You can use APIs for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.
Ever made an online transaction? I don’t think I need to dig into the innovation of the payment APIs. The API connects with the bank servers when you make an online transaction. Eventually, it leads to setting up a secure system to make the transaction without the threat of any financial issues. Either to you or the vendor company. Thus, setting up a proper systematic set up to make the transaction.
Yes, the YouTube API exists and assists in allowing your website/application visitors to view the entire playlist from the portal they are viewing your video from. It further allows you to pull out data to help you make qualitative decisions about your company’s YouTube plan.
Now, whether it is the payment API, or the weather API, or the social media API or the Google API, the use of APIs over the past few years has grown tremendously and has led to a boom of technological innovations and creating a setup where developers and everyone around the technological work sphere can benefit from them.