What Is Application Programming Interface (API) and Why Use It?

You’ve probably encountered the word API multiple times, which prompts the question: what is API? API stands for Application Programming Interface, and it acts as a link between several pieces of software. It merely facilitates communication between them. 

With an API, your query is routed to the provider, who responds with a response. 

APIs are extremely valuable as a bridge between various pieces of software. This is because it saves time and is convenient for software developers to use.


Understanding API In a Nutshell 

APIs act as a bridge for applications to communicate with different operating systems and software. In simple terms, it receives a user response from a system and responds to the user with the system’s response. 

When you visit an eCommerce site and click ‘add to cart,’ the API notifies the site that you have added a product to your cart. The website then reacts by adding the item to your shopping basket. 

A developer can use an API to make a specific request or call to obtain specific information. A developer can make four types of requests using an API: 

PUT is a command that is used to update data. 

GET is a command used to gather data 

DELETE is used to, for example, delete a post. 

POST is used to create a new product category.


Why Use APIs

  • Speed software and system development: Because APIs enable developers to supply functionality as microservices, they accelerate the software development process.

This acceleration is due to the removal of dependencies, as well as the duty of code reviews and the like. 

APIs also expedite system development by enabling labor division. This can be seen in the task separation that occurs during the development of a system’s front end and back end.

  • Reduce non-performing systems: APIs enable businesses to reduce non-performing systems and downtime. For instance, businesses can utilize this to detect an issue and even receive ideas for resolving it.
  • Enhance software and system testing: APIs enable a team of developers to test the front ends and backends of a system independently. This increases the thoroughness of the test. 
  • Enhance security: APIs can be used to enhance an organization’s security. 
  • Enable mobile applications: APIs are used to fuel a large number of mobile applications. They use this to communicate with users. 
  • Reduce the cost of software development: APIs enable the production of reusable components, which helps to reduce development expenses. A developer can construct a system that acts as a database for consumer information.

With this in place, other developers inside the business can leverage APIs to retrieve this information as needed for customer service, payment tracking, and marketing campaigns.

  • Integrate internal and external systems: developers use APIs to facilitate system integration. 
  • Reduce operational costs: APIs help reduce operational costs by automating processes that humans would have performed.

APIs boost both internal and external systems’ capabilities. Additionally, it serves to improve consumer functionality. Check out TSP for more blogs!

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