APIs are used in web applications, financial institutions, and video games, just to name a few. Let’s explore what an API is and how one might be used.
What Does API Mean?
API is an acronym of Application Programming Interface.
What Is an API?
APIs provide a way for separate programs to interact with each other. APIs define the requests that can be made, how to make a request, and enable the data exchange between different software applications.
APIs come in three flavors; public, private, and partner. Public APIs (or Open APIs) are publicly accessible to any developer. Using public APIs comes with few restrictions, and they can be either free or commercial. Private APIs are used exclusively inside a company or organization. Partner APIs are only available to specific business partners, most frequently used to facilitate software integration between two different businesses.
How Are APIs Used?
APIs are used in a wide range of cases which include categories such as database APIs, remote APIs, and web APIs. You most likely interact with web APIs multiple times a day browsing your smartphone or computer. Web APIs exchange requests and data using the HTTP protocol.
Travel booking websites, such as Skyscanner and Booking.com, use web APIs to aggregate flight and destination data for their customers. The convenience of web APIs makes it such that you can confirm the availability of a hotel room and the length of your stay in real-time by exchanging your requests and data from the hotel instantaneously.
Simplify Your Workflow With APIs
APIs are powerful because they let you securely tap data and external functionality. With over 24,000 APIs available, you can take advantage of the functionality of an application like Google Translate without typing a single line of code yourself.
Using application programming interfaces (APIs) is an essential skill for all programmers to master.
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