Well, readers today we are going to talk about API or as some refer application programming interface. This is a software term denoted to the process where applications talk to each other. Everyone is today using API whether they realize it or not. Every time you use an application on your smartphone like Facebook, sending messages or just checking out local news on your phone, you are using an API.
API is one of the most important parts of technology nowadays. To understand the concept of application programming interface from the point of view expert, you can watch Hitesh Chaudhary’s YouTube video on API.
Understand API Concept with an Example
When you operate an application on your smartphone, then it will connect with the internet and sends you the data server. The server retrieves data and then interprets it. It will perform the necessary actions and revert it back to your phone. This will interpret data and present your information in the easy to read manner. This is all about API.
To understand this scenario better, you can check out this familiar example.
Suppose if you are sitting at a table in a restaurant with a menu to order. In this case, the kitchen is a part of the process of preparing your order. The thing that is missing in the scenario, is the medium of connecting the kitchen with the mode of food delivery. Here, the waiter is an API, that takes your request and tells the kitchen – what to do. And, delivery’s it to you.
API Is a Security Shield
The application programming interface doesn’t only serve the purpose of the medium, but it offers security to your phone also. API never fully expose your phone data to the server, and similarly, the server isn’t fully disclosed to your phone. The communication works between small packets of data, just like the restaurant example of ordering takeout.
You tell the restaurant what you want to eat and they will tell you what is the price of the dish. However, they never fully disclose the recipe of that dish and similarly, you won’t disclose your bank account details to them.
APIs are very important today that they comprise a large part of business revenue. Major companies like Google, eBay, Salesforce.com, Amazon, and Expedia are just a few of the companies that make money from their APIs.
There was a time when API has been just referred to as the source of generic connectivity to an application. However, the modern API can be categorized in numerous ways;
- Today, API stands for developer friendly, easy to access and wide term.
- They are treated like code. They are designed for the specifically targeted audiences, they are supported with full documentation and they are versioned in a way that users can have certain expectations of its maintenance and lifecycle.
- API has become more standardized, they offer highly strong discipline for security and governance. They also monitor and manage performance at very large scale.
- API has its own set of software development life cycle for designing, testing, building, managing, and versioning. Also, modern APIs are well documented for consumption and versioning.
This is the light version of API, if you want to know in-depth details about application programming interface, then you can checkout Hitesh’s YouTube video.