For people that have little to no interest in programming, API may sound like anything from food to a course. Nowadays, programmers use the term daily, as it is a linking word for them. Inevitably, people working in the industry work and use APIs, but the situation when they only have a vague idea of the term happens very often.
In this article, we will try to explain everything about APIs, from what it means to how it helps programmers and why is it so important for this industry.
Application Programming Interface (API for short) is a technique most of the companies use nowadays, and everybody uses it for a reason: it is really efficient. If you’re at the beginning of your journey in the programming world, the following ideas will make it clear to you.
The Web and remote servers
In the end, the Internet is just a huge network of servers. Looking at how things work, every page you ever see on the internet is stored on a server. The server is something you can actually touch: a computer that handles requests.
If you have a proper laptop, you can have your own server, being able to host your website. All programmers use a local server to develop apps or programs before delivering the final product.
A concrete example of how it works: when you write www.youtube.com in your browser, a request is sent to Youtube servers. Your browser receives a response back, translates the code and shows you the page you requested.
To your browser, the server from Youtube is an API. Therefore, your browser interacts with APIs everytime you want to display a page.
Don’t mistake APIs for remote servers, as they are not the same. An API is the section of the servers that collects requests and sends responses.
How to use APIs for your business
Many companies use APIs for their customers. APIs are very useful because they help you keep the customers on your website even when they need other information or want to make an action that a website usually can’t allow. Most websites use third-party APIs because they can solve most of the problems. So instead of investing time and money in creating your own way to solve a problem for your clients, you can use an already existing API that has a viable answer.
If you offer an API to your clients, it means you already have some URLs that send back only data responses (that means they won’t be seeing any graphics, as it happens when they normally access your website).
In the end, API is an Application
An application can mean a lot of things, and APIs don’t cover all types of apps, but they sure do a lot of things: the server, a part of the server, an app or a part of an app and they can be a software with a distinctive function.
The A in API can be any software that can be disjointed from the environment. If you use a library for your program, most likely that library uses an API that enables it to communicate with the rest of your code.you an
We hope things are more clear now and you understand APIs better. If you have any questions or you need APIs for your own business, don’t hesitate to contact us!