What is an API
An Application Programming Interface (API) is a gateway that allows one App to communicate with other Apps – and defines how that communication occurs. They foster connections between technologies to improve the user experience. API is a collection of software functions and procedures.
APIs open up access to your resources while maintaining security and control. This enables services to communicate and use data and functionality through a documented interface.
How API works
APIs enable to explain how web applications communicate with each other. They process data transfer between systems and locate between the application and the web server. APIs enable access to software (or web data) in a controlled and secure way for the program. Then the code sends requests to the receiving software and returns the data.
APIs can be divided into four main categories based on the functionality they serve.
APIs protocols can be divided into three main categories:
Examples of APIs we use every day
1. Weather snippets
One of the common examples of API usage is weather data like Google Search.
2. Log in using social media accounts
The second good example of APIs usage is the log-in with Gmail/Facebook/GitHub you may have seen on different websites. Instead of logging in to users’ accounts on social networks (which would be a serious security issue), applications with this functionality use the APIs of these platforms to authenticate the user with each log-in.
3. Twitter Bots
Twitter bots are accounts that automatically make tweets and send direct messages. Behind them are complex Twitter APIs. The Twitter API tells the bots when something specific happens on the platform. For example, you can ask the Twitter API to tell your bot when it gets a new repost. Here are some of the popular Twitter Bots:
- Hundred Zeros (@HundredZeros) – Twitterbot that regularly tweets links to the eBooks that are free on Amazon.
- Earthquake Alerts (@EarthquakeBot) – tweets about any earthquakes with an intensity of 5.0 or greater as they happen worldwide.
- Free Game Findings (@freegamefinding) – the Free Game Findings bot can help you get free deals on PC/PS/Xbox games.
4. Travel Booking
Travel booking websites use third-party APIs to collect flight and hotel availabilities from providers. Here is the list of the top 5 travel booking apps:
API is a powerful tool that can help speed up your business operations, grow your brand’s reach, connect your clients to the products they want, and so much more. In the API Developer Documentation, you will find guides to the various API functions that you can use.