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API

What Is An API?

API, short for Application Programming Interface, is a connection that allows transferring the data from one software or application to another. 

How Does An API Work?

API works by sharing the data between the applications, systems, or software products, so, simply said, they can “talk with each other”. A program sends a request to API, and the API receives it and transforms the request into an understandable signal, that is sent to another software or application that serves as a data provider. Then, once the request is submitted, the needed information is delivered to the user through API, with the help of a special set of codes.

What Are API Types?

The basic API types include private, partner, and public APIs.

Private API is used throughout an organization and is not aimed to be used outside of it. Private APIs are useful for internal software and applications, collaborations between teams and departments, and partner integration.

Partner API is used within the established framework of the organization and its partners through the defined authorization mechanism. They are not available to the public but require extra security measures.

Public or External API can be used by any consumers, including that outside of the organization, with the purpose to make it as available and convenient as possible. Public APIs are useful for sharing your data with a large number of users, ensuring the in-depth analytics of your audience, traffic, and much more.

APIs Use Cases

Database API allows developers access to a variety of databases. Examples are the open EAN/GTIN database, Food and Recipe APIs, Geonames APIs, etc.

Operating system API determines the ways of using resources for OS (operating systems). It can be Windows API, Linux API, App Store Connect API, etc.

Remote APIs are used to access the data store of your application either from an application running on your local machine or from an interactive Remote API shell. One of the examples is Java Database Connectivity API.

Web API is used within the web with the help of HTTP protocol and can ease complex functions and extend the browser’s functionality. It can be Google Maps API, Twitter REST API, YouTube API.

Frequently Asked Questions About API

What are API specifications or protocols?

API specification (protocol) defines the rules for API calls and standardizes the data exchange between diverse systems written in different programming languages to ensure flawless data exchange between them. The examples of API protocols are Remote Procedure Call (RPC), Service Object Access Protocol (SOAP), Representational State Transfer (REST), gRPC, GraphQL.

What is API integration?

API integration is the link between two applications/software through their APIs that allows data interchange between them.

What is an API call?

The API call is a data request that is sent from the client’s application to the server that uses API.

What are some examples of API?

Some vivid examples of API are Shopify API, Amazon API, Magento API, Google Shopping Content API which are primarily used for eCommerce API connections.

How to use API?

To start using API, you should get an API key, test API endpoints, and use it with your application/software.

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