Application Programming Interface (API) is a set of standards, instructions, and requirements that allows an application or software 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 program. The use of API is increasing day by day as it is very powerful and simple to use in any software or platform.
Example of API
When we use any app on our mobile phone, the app connects to the Internet and sends the data to the server. The server then retrieves that data, interprets it, performs the necessary actions, and sends the data back to our phone. The application explains that data and provides us with the information we require in a readable manner. This is what an API is – all these things happen through API.
How API Works
An API works in the following manner.
- The application makes an API call, also known as a request, to retrieve information. This will be processed as a request to the Web server through the API’s URI. An API’s URI is Uniform Resource Identifier, which includes a request body, request verb, and headers.
- Once API receives the request, it calls the web server of the other program.
- Then the server responds to the API’s call by sending the requested information.
- Finally, the API sends the data to the application that initiated the request.
How API Improves Application Development
API plays an important role in application development. They make application development easier and allow communication between different applications. There are many benefits that API provides in application development. They are:
Reduction in Development Time
The main advantage of using APIs is that synchronizing them across multiple development stages significantly reduces overall development time. Many APIs are available on the market that enable applications to communicate with outside companies to solve various problems.
API integrations make life easier and faster for application designers and also make things easier for end-users. They are not required to keep embedding their sign-in credentials. They can use their previously saved Google or Facebook sign-in credentials to verify themselves. Google Drive API or Dropbox APIs are used to store various client details and login credentials.
Fulfills Client Requirements
In today’s generation, customers are demanding a first-class experience. Additionally, they are prone to get personalized experiences rather than gaining access to the whole business.
With the help of APIs, developers can easily fulfill client-specific requirements which are hard to achieve without APIs.
Let’s take the example of the above point. API helps to analyze and predict different actions taken by the buyer and it shows recommendations accordingly. It will enhance the customer experience, which will generate higher revenue.
Easy Integration between Applications
API connects two applications allowing data transfer between them. An enterprise requires many applications to use. In that scenario, maintaining all the applications’ workings and enabling smooth communication gets difficult.
Here API integration helps us to bring together CRM software, marketing automation, and financial services, which allows easy interaction between apps.
A Relief to Coders
Incorporating a programming interface into application development shortens the development time by reducing the amount of coding required and the time spent on it. Engineers can imprint varieties of functionalities in the adaptable application by coordinating the individual APIs.
APIs eliminate the need for some coding and make it easier for specialized companies to handle similar functionality. For example, while using hotel booking software and trying to locate a specific lodge, we may have come across the phrases “managed by Google” or “Google maps.” Instead of planning their guide (which is a time-consuming and tedious interaction), engineers can coordinate more precise guides powered by geolocation APIs in their applications.
There are many APIs on the market each of which supports a unique set of features. Due to time constraints, most application designers will keep the number of functionalities and pieces as low as possible. Using APIs the application can be powered by features that are difficult to configure, thus increasing the creative potential.
For example, adaptable application engineers can use YouTube API to integrate web-based videos into their foundation without having to create their own components. These minor details significantly contribute to the application’s overall inventiveness.
The more refined a portable application’s codebase is, the more features it can deliver. Even a simple feature can necessitate a significant amount of coding. It stands to reason that the more complex the element, the more lengthier its code would be. APIs alleviate this complication by assisting designers in incorporating complex but critical functionalities into their portable application development.
Engineers don’t need to build out every single feature; they can use individual APIs to patch these insufficiently constructed pieces. As a result, the codebase becomes less clumsy and more comfortable to understand.
APIs provide a secure communication gateway for different application components to interact and exchange data. Using external APIs enhance our website security, bringing it under the direct surveillance of remote servers. However, it is critical to ensure that we are using APIs from reliable sources.
On the other hand, with custom API development solutions, we will get complete control over the APIs. Hence, it becomes possible for us to customize them as per our needs and add multiple layers of security and privacy.
Easy of Integration
API allows developers to embed any type of application or service into a given website or web application. It provides ease of integration between different website components, custom functionality, or third-party services. Moreover, API ensures seamless interactions between interconnected applications, modules, plugins, third-party services, or disparate software components.
To sum up, we understand the importance of APIs in application development and the benefits it provides in delivering good software products to customers. From the above-mentioned benefits, we can say that API is an asset in application development.