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How Do APIs Provide a Foundation for Software Innovationby@misbahnishan
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How Do APIs Provide a Foundation for Software Innovation

by MisbahDecember 3rd, 2022
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API Integration or Application Programming Interfaces are tools, procedures, or processes that come together to provide an interface that enables two pieces of software or other systems to communicate with one another and facilitates the transfer of data from one system to another. APIs are powerful technology and they can simplify developers' tasks while helping to integrate already developed application services into the new application. In simple terms, an API is a software that helps other applications connect and share their functions. The most commonly used API are WebAPIs include REST and SOAP.

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APIs are powerful technology, and can simplify developers' tasks while helping integrate already developed application services into the new application. This expands the new software's scope without having to construct it from scratch or wasting time on features that the new application already has access to through APIs.


What are API Integration or Application Programming Interfaces?

APIs are the tools, procedures, or processes that come together to provide an interface that enables two pieces of software or other systems to communicate with one another and facilitates the transfer of data from one system to another.


This will enable software and networks to utilize technology more effectively and broaden its application. In simple terms, an API is software that helps other applications connect and share their functions.


Are you a nontechnical person? Let me explain to you with a funny and simple example.


You have a dog that you keep in your house for both love and security. One day you had reason to suspect that someone had tried to intrude into your house. Now you want to talk with the dog. The dog has data about the thief but speaks a different language. So what can you do to solve the challenge of communicating with a thing that does not speak your language and you don't understand theirs? This is where APIs come into form. Now APIs will be able to understand both the dog's language for you and speak your language to the dog. This API is like a useful gate that can help the connectivity between two things that do not speak the same language.


What are the 4 Types of API

APIs are of different types depending upon the audience. It would be used to give access to interface and data facilities. APIs can be classified into different types depending on their building architecture and scope of use:

Public APIs

Public APIS is open to the public, and anyone can access it with very limited authorization controls demanded to access it.

Private APIs

Private APIs are mostly in the palace to connect applications and devices within an organization; therefore, only people inside an organization can use them.

Partner APIs

Partner APIs are mostly used when collaborating with business partners. Like private APIs, partner APIs are accessible to a particular set of members in an organization. But unlike private APIs, partner APIs can be structured beyond the boundaries of the organization and require additional security measures.

Composite APIs

Composite APIs combine APIs to meet system requirements or behaviors.


How Do APIs work?

An API simply sets the rule for communication to happen.

The most commonly used API are Web APIs, and the most popular among them are REST and SOAP.


Here is a comprehensive explanation of both :

Representational State Transfer REST APIs

Rest is a common set of rules for building web API. An API that follows the REST standard is called RESTful API. Representational State Transfer (REST) APIs, commonly referred to as RESTful APIs, use the JASON programming language and a predetermined URL structure to facilitate communication between two software or devices. REST is the most commonly used APIS as it is developer friendly. But since REST depends on URL structure to communicate there,, it would not work for web-based software.


REST can be used with HTTP, FTP, or any other communication protocol. But it is most commonly used with HTTP.


So we can say REST API uses HTTP and TLS encryption.

REST API puts certain guidelines or protocols that instruct the communication between two software or devices to happen only in some predetermined way. TLS is the protocol that keeps the identity of the internet connection private and ensures that the data is not modified and remains encrypted while passing from one system to another.


Simple Object Access Protocol SOAP APIs

SOAP is another API that is widely used but not as popular as REST because it is not very developer friendly. This API uses a programming language called XML in its communication.


To understand XML and JSON better, you need to understand that when an application or software wants data from a server, it is not always the demand of the client (that is, requesting software device) that they need it in the webpage format. They might need only the data. The format or language in which the server can end data is of many types. Of which the most popular languages are XML and JSON.


Conclusion

Hope this blog has provided you with a good understanding of Application Programming Interface or API. This is the technology that has expanded the scope of software by helping to share and communicate resources and data from one software or system to another. APIs are among the best technologies that have laid the foundation for technological innovations.