Introduction

You must have wondered how you can automatically log in to Facebook and Gmail from different websites and how two people can get the same weather update from different geographic locations. The answer to all your questions is the Application programming interface.

Before going into further discussion, it is necessary to understand API meaning.

What is an API Application?

Application Programming Interface is the centre of today’s vast software ecosystem. It is a software interface that allows the communication of two or more computer programs. API application works on requests and responses. The client sends the request, and the server responds to it.

Mobile application programming helps developers work more with less time, energy, and coding. Developers can integrate two different platforms easily via the request-response cycle. API application is a magic stick for web services and program communication. Apps can interact with third-party apps with the help of API. Many successful applications like Youtube, Facebook, and Twitter use API applications.

What is an API

Understand API integration in Brief

Application Programming Interface is an automated communication system that requests, sends, and updates information. To understand API meaning in depth, let us break down the terms.

Application: This includes the apps and software designed to send crucial information like purchase orders and other financial data to customers, suppliers, and other organisations.

Programming: Developers do programming to design and develop apps and their interfaces.

Integration: This enables the interaction of the software with other applications.

Why do you Need API Integration Platforms?

API is the future of mobile application programming. Below are a few things for which you need API:

  • Interfacing cloud-based applications
  • Effectively developing new parts
  • Improving the current framework’s performance
  • Working on improving general productivity and efficiency
  • Meeting and surpassing other essential requirements
  • Saving time and costs

Components of API Types

  1. Numerous Formats
    Various applications use platforms and languages like JSON, CSV, and XML.
  2. Community
    Robust developer communities are developed to resolve various technical issues faced by developers.
  3. Documentation
    It is essential to develop a user-friendly API application, which is required for this documentation.

Four Types of API

Every business has unique and different integration needs. Here is where the role of API application comes to provide operating systems, communication protocols, and architectural styles. Development and maintenance of the Application programming interface is a complex task. So first, it is essential to understand types of API broadly.To understand the scope and use of API, it is vital to know the types of API and API meaning.

  1. Private APIs
    These types of API are specifically designed to streamline data transfer among company personnel and systems. No third party outside the organisation has access to private APIs.They are also referred to as Internal APIs.These APIs are more efficient and traceable, but compared to other APIs, they have weak authentication protocols and security. Enough rules and regulations are made and wholly hidden from the public to stop the misuse of such API.
  2. Public APIs
    All the developers have access to Public APIs even if they are not a part of the organisation. Public APIs are also known as Open APIs, which are available on the internet for the use of software developers. These types of API are either free or require nominal subscription fees for access.Because of open access, the API application provides the opportunity of making money for the admin by increasing the organic traffic on the app. It is beneficial for both third-party software and APIs.After all, who does not like free stuff?
  3. Partner APIs
    Only authorised developers have access to these types of API. The organisation can provide access to other developers via a contractual agreement. Partner APIs help to facilitate B2B activities. Organisations can share customer data with the partner company without jeopardising crucial data safety.This type of API has a robust security and authentication mechanism via API key. Partner APIs provide excellent control over the access of your organisation’s data and how it will be used, for example. Pinterest asks the developers about the use of their APIs before granting them access.
  4. Composite APIs
    These types of APIs allow developers to access multiple calls or requests simultaneously and receive one unified response from various servers. You can combine two or more APIs with the help of composite APIs and also set off an automatic chain of responses without human intervention.This API reduces the system’s complexity and improves the overall system’s speed by less server load.For example, you might think it only takes one request to order within a shopping cart on Amazon. But to make this process this easy, you need to create a customer profile, create an order and add other items after changing order status. You will not like to go through these many steps before shopping, so composite APIs help you make one API instead of several separate API calls.

API Architectures Types

Understanding API architecture types will make it easier to know how API works.REST, SOAP, and RPC are today’s most prominent API architectures.

REST

REST stands for representational state transfer. If you wish to have an easy-to-use, lightweight and scalable API, then REST sets the best guidelines.

Guidelines are given by REST:

This guideline helps mobile application programming developers to transfer extensive data quickly. So this is an attractive and trustworthy option for developers.

  1. Client Server Separation
    All client-server communications must be a client request and a server answer. There will be no communication if the server is unable to respond efficiently.
  2. Similar Interface
    To guarantee compatibility between any client and any server, all requests and responses must use HTTP as the communication protocol and be formatted in a particular way. JavaScript Object Notation (JSON) is one of the best tools for formatting API applications.
  3. Stateless
    The independence of each client-server interaction is essential. The server doesn’t keep track of client requests or previous interactions.
  4. Layered architecture
    Even when passing through intermediate servers between the customer and the API, you must follow a similar format for requests and responses.
  5. Cacheable
    Server response must indicate how long the client may cache a specific resource.

SOAP

SOAP stands for Simple Object Access Protocol. It facilitates the transfer of crucial data between network devices, and an Application programming interface can be made using SOAP. More secure APIs are made using SOAP as it offers stricter protocols. World Wide Web Consortium standardised SOAP protocols, and to encode information, XML is utilised.

SOAP strictly defines the content of the message and how to send it. Its rigid standards and intensive coding have made it more complex to implement. To transfer compassionate data, SOAP is used more. But REST’s adaptable design is more popular worldwide.

RPC

Out of all the three types of API architectures, the RPC (Remote Procedure Call) protocol is the easiest to understand. RPC API application invokes processes, unlike REST and SOAP, which facilitate data transfer. In other words, they run scripts on a server.

JSON and XML are employed in RPC calls. If we look at the security aspect, XML is more reliable and flexible than JSON. Otherwise, both these protocols are similar. However, rigid RPC protocol provides a simple method to execute code over distant networks.

RPC’s visibility on the internet is less because it has less security and features than REST and SOAP. However, you can use it to create simple process requests for the internal system.

Uses of API in Routine Life:

Google Maps

We can reach any location in the world with the help of the Google app. This app has brought a great revolution in mobile application programming. This API application uses HTTP requests to give a response in XML or JSON formatted directions between geolocations.

Flight and Hotel booking

When customers are looking for flight and hotel options within their budget, their search result shows numerous available airline and hotel options with the best facilities.

Payment Gateways

API application supports the entire online transaction process. Reliable companies offering payment gateway integration services make this process smoother.

Final Words

Different types of API serve multiple purposes, and after understanding them briefly, it will be much easier to choose the ideal API for your business. If you are interested in building iOS mobile apps and helping your business reach new heights, your search is over. Syndell Technologies is not just a mobile application programming company but your partner in your journey towards success.