Application Programming Interface (API) is a set of standards, instructions, and requirements that allows an application to provide service to another application, platform, or device for better use of software or application.
In other words, it is a method for a computer program to talk to another computer program. The use of API’s is increasing day by day as it is very powerful and simple to use in any software or platform.
Uses of APIs
The use of APIs is:
Building Applications that Need Other Software in Their Operation
Do you want to develop an application or execute a bit of code on our website that enables users to book appointments and add them to their schedules? If yes, then an API can help streamline this request and decrease the developer’s need to do so to get it going.
Control Access to Certain Assets
APIs act as doorways that only provide access to users that have the correct credentials. This can incorporate customers that give the right username or password to get to the specific assets.
Help Devices and Apps Connect Seamlessly
One important reason why APIs improve performance is that they give a standard way for programs to interact. Rather than accepting a boundless number of requests in various styles, APIs function as the universal plug for all requests to come in a single form.
Types of API for Mobile App Development
There are mainly four main types of API for Mobile App Development. They are
These types of APIs are also known as Public APIs. There are no limitations to accessing these kinds of APIs since they are publicly accessible.
Partner APIs need specific licenses or rights to access and they are not accessible to the public.
These are also called Private APIs. Internal teams can use this type of API, which is less known and often created to use inside the organization. An organization uses this kind of API among its internal teams to improve its services and products.
Composite APIs combine various service and data APIs. It is a sequence of tasks that run synchronously because of the execution and not when a task requests. Its major function is to accelerate the procedure of execution and improve the performance of the members in the web interfaces.
Alongside these APIs, there are also Web APIs, for example, SOAP (Simple Object Access Protocol), RPC (Remote Procedure Call), and the most prominent one—REST (Representational State Transfer).
API for Mobile Application Development
When it comes to integrating an API into a mobile application, there are two ways in which we can do the same. We can either use a pre-built API or you can go for API Development i.e. developing an API from scratch for our application.
Using an already-built API saves money. It is normally faster and requires less development experience and time than making an API from scratch.
However, by making a new API from scratch, we have more opportunities to make it custom as per our needs. We can also guarantee its security.
If we decide to purchase an existing API, there are numerous sites that can enable us to do so. On the other hand, if we decide to make our own API, we must hire a mobile app development company. Thus, the final API meets our desires and needs.
Features to Consider While API Development
The features that make good API are:
A good API should let us search for data by specific criteria, especially by date. It’s because, after the data synchronization, we require the changed (corrected, updated, or deleted) or added data since the last time we set off the synchronization.
Sometimes, we may get a huge amount of data, even if it is only the changed data. In order to manage it efficiently, we need an approach to determine that we do not need all the changed data in one go, but the first “page” of it. For this, we use paging.
A perfect API must be able to restrict the amount of data that can be received in one go and also the frequency of requests for data. It should also have the option to inform what number of “pages” of the data is left.
To guarantee that the end client gets every one of the pages of data one after the other, the API should enable the clients to sort data according to the time of modification or using any other condition.
It is a good idea to consider your API to be RESTful. The REST APIs are light-weighted(we don’t need to serialize objects in REST API). Also they are stateless(the system sends a request to the server and relays the response back without storing any information). So, let us send the API request again if the response of the previous request fails.
Additionally, JSON’s syntax is similar to most programming languages. This makes it simple for any application developed to parse it into some other language.
Utilizing REST with JSON is a best practice and is extremely simple to create.
Authorization via OAuth
OAuth authorization is the thing that makes a good API case. It gives better ease of use to the application developers as well as users than any other method.
Giving good comprehensive documentation for an API is what every developer should do. Good documentation acts as a reference for all other employees of that project.
It also helps in identifying if there are any changes that need to be done on the existing APIs based on functionality change.
From the above-mentioned features and advantages that API provides, we can conclude that API programming is the backbone of mobile app development.
Are you looking forward to develop a mobile app for your business? If yes, then get in touch with us. We Perfomatix, a leading IT service provider specialized in building highly scalable APIs and Mobile apps and we also have strong expertise in IoT apps, Virtual Reality apps, and Augmented Reality apps.
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