What Is An Application Programming Interface (API)?
The code that we have come to call WEB 2.0
API is the acronym for Application Programming Interface, a code that serves to allow different applications to interact and share information with each other.
If you come across an aggregator site for hotel bookings, that is one good example of an API. The aggregator site utilizes APIs to contact the different hotels as advertised to provide the information that customers may request. The interface may contain the booking date, place, and cost. The APIs process the information and sent to the system server of the hotel chosen and formats it into a language that it can understand. The reply is again interpreted by the APIs to match the request. The API serves as the interpreter of languages that pass through it between different companies with different technologies in a quick and easy way. Without the API, it will be much difficult or even impossible to obtain data between parties.
APIs are too important for developers to ignore as it builds around the functionality and data of existing systems without costly and time-consuming built-up from scratch. APIs enable softwares to interact with one another, and because businesses run well whenever data is available, APIs most often are free to use.
Blockchain has free APIs that allow developers to access Bitcoin payments processing, wallet services, market data, and transaction data to be used on their applications and websites.
APIs are also a valuable part of cryptocurrency exchanges. Traders use it for their algorithmic trading or bot trading. APIs are used to infuse market data to trading bots so that they can make trades in place of the traders according to preset instructions.
Apple iOS operating system is full of APIs to help you introduce applications on the iPhone. You can use the WKWebView API to embed a WebKit browser in your application instead of programming your own browser from scratch. The camera API is used to embed the iPhone’s built-in camera into your app when you want to take videos or photos from the iPhone camera. Without APIs, then you would have to create your own camera software to be able to interpret hardware inputs. Apple APIs took the hard work so that you can just use the camera to embed a camera and go on with your app. When Apple upgrades its camera API, your app will benefit automatically. All platforms, on Windows or Android, for example, have an API for developers to exploit to their advantage.
APIs play a big role in security because they are used to control access to softwares and hardwares. When APIs ask for location when you visit a website, it is to control access to the hardware and limit what apps can do depending on whether you allow or deny the request. If you deny permission, there is no way the app can access your hardware. It is the API, not the app, that has the power to access.
Any Google Maps object that you see embedded on a website made use of the Google Maps API to be able to use it. Without the API, website developers will have no recourse but to create their own maps and data altogether. The API will help Google control the way the Maps are used to protect it accordingly.
APIs also enable Facebook comments or Twitter tweets to be embedded on a website.
These are just a few of the many that APIs can do to facilitate connectivity, interoperability, and integration among the many existing applications.
An application programming interface (API) is there to simplify programming in building applications by hiding or abstracting the technical implementation and only showing only the actions or objects that are to be used. APIs will only give the functionality without the requirement of understanding how everything works behind the scenes.
An API for cryptocurrency trading will enable you to connect with an exchange and allow you to access real-time market data, help you make trades, and efficiently manage your own account.
APIs are now realizing the solution to a problem that many struggled with for so many years. Software connectivity, interoperability, and integration are becoming standardized as APIs continue to revolutionize not only the way we interact on the Internet, but also between apps.
The code that we have come to call Web. 2.0.
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