Think about how two people in different places can perceive accurate weather information. How convenient is it to instantly sign up using the built-in Facebook or Gmail login on a website? Finally, isn’t it easy to be redirected to your favorite payment gateways during a transaction? Have you ever wondered how this comfort is maintained? Several types of APIs made this miracle possible!!
APIs are like magic wands that allow developers to write less code and spend less time and energy. It serves as a communication channel between various web services and software. Programmers can easily build a gateway to integrate two separate platforms using request-response cycles.
Developers can choose from a variety of API formats on the market, depending on their integration goals. For 83% of participants, API integration is “important” to their IT infrastructures and business operations.
The huge software ecosystem we have now revolves around APIs. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc. all use them. In addition, applications communicate with other programs through the same API.
API Integration Brief!
API integration is primarily a method of automated information request, transfer and update between applications.
We encounter APIs almost daily without even realizing it. An easy analogy to understand the different API concepts is:
The API is comparable to a waiter in a restaurant who takes the customer’s order, passes it to the kitchen staff, and then delivers the food to the customer’s table.
Additionally, we dissect the phrase to get the full meaning of API integration
A = Applications, which refers to the business software and applications that companies use to communicate important information to suppliers, customers, and other organizations, such as financial data, purchase orders, and more.
P = Programming – This function means that programmers write code to design and build interfaces and applications.
I = Integration – Interfaces control how the software communicates with other applications.
What are the requirements for API integration platforms?
API integration is required for:
- connecting cloud applications
- Rapid creation of new components
- improving the performance of the current system
- Increasing general efficiency and productivity
- meeting and exceeding other integration standards
- saving time and money on work
Some light on the basic components of API types…
1. Different formats
Different apps use different platforms and languages. As a result, the API is built in several languages such as JSON, XML, and CSV.
Documentation is essential to make an API DevOps friendly.
Even the smartest developers need technical help from time to time. Therefore, strong development communities support each other.
What are API Gateways?
API gateways are API management tools that serve as a communication channel between a client and a group of backend services. Additionally, it helps in managing and using the API. In short, it helps the API in determining its target.
Wondering what API integration is as you scroll through these many forms of APIs? To learn the basics, read our in-depth blog on API integration and development.
API Types Explained: How Do They Differ?
APIs offer different architectural designs, communication protocols, and operating systems to meet specific integration needs. Creating and maintaining the right application integration model takes a lot of work. Companies must first have a good understanding of the API. Software applications use application programming interfaces to communicate with each other using protocols.
Application programming interfaces, or APIs, come in four different flavors. Make sure the “type” above refers to API usage parameters. Four categories of API services can be identified:
1. Private APIs
Internal APIs are another name for private APIs. This kind of API is intended for use by employees only and is not intended for use by anyone else.
These private APIs typically have lower authentication and security protocols. The API is intended for internal enterprise use only. In addition, there are sufficient laws and standards to prevent users from misbehaving. Payroll and HR systems used by accountants are the best example of this.
2. Public APIs
Developers from any organization can use the public API, which is often referred to as an open API. These are freely available to all software developers online.
Enterprise API owners often monetize the call fee to profit from it. Since it is accessible to everyone, the administrator can make a lot of money from it.
3. Partner APIs
This kind of API is only accessible to approved developers. In such a case, the organization’s partners operate within a predetermined structure. It may also be made available to third parties through a contract.
The main goal of this API is to facilitate B2B transactions. For example, a company can share consumer information with an alliance partner without compromising the security of other data elements.
The USPs of this kind of API are as follows:
- Stronger authentication via API Key
- Authorization checks
- Security mechanisms
4. Composite APIs
Developers can use this kind of API to access multiple data or service APIs. This suggests that the development team can use a single call to reach multiple endpoints.
Additionally, it helps in combining two or more APIs to create a series of linked activities. Using a composite category makes it easier to deal with complicated API behavior.
Did You Know?
What are HTTP Methods for APIs?
The instructions for calls, message formats, data flows, etc. are provided by API http methods. The commands (CRUD) are all-inclusive (create, retrieve, update, delete). There are a few of these techniques used in programming for various purposes:
API Protocol and Architecture types
API architectures provide precise descriptions of API structure designs. Focusing on API design and integration, this section will cover each API architecture:
Representational state transfer is known as REST. These recommendations are for scalable, lightweight web APIs. REST protocols are currently used by most online APIs. The most basic REST API coding concepts are easy to learn, scalable, lightweight, and accessible. Based on REST principles, REST APIs are typically used to deliver data from a server to a redirected user. Below is an explanation of the REST API guidelines. HTTP APIs are an attractive and reliable choice for developers because they can quickly transfer large amounts of data to a server if used according to guidelines.
SOAP: A stricter protocol for a more secure API is SOAP. SoAPs are protocols that enable the exchange of data between network devices and can be used to create APIs. Information that has been encoded in XML uses the SOAP protocol standardized by the W3C. The method of sending the message is carefully controlled by SoAP, and the content of the message is also part of it. As a result, although their strict standards have made them more difficult to code and implement, SOAP APIs are more secure than REST APIs. SOAP is typically used to transfer sensitive internal data, although the adaptable design of REST is increasingly popular worldwide.
RPC: RPC is a protocol that can be used to call processes and is written in either XML (XML-RPC) or JSON (JSON-RPC).
SOAP vs. REST: Their Differences
In the following table you can compare SOAP vs REST for better API management.
|BASIS OF DIFFERENCE||SOAP||REST|
|How Strict is it?||Strict rules & advanced security to follow.||Loose guidelines for developers to follow.|
|Bandwidth requirements||Needs more bandwidth.||Can work on minimum bandwidth.|
The distinction between XML and JSON
Let’s examine the next table to learn how JSON and XML differ from each other.
|BASIS OF DIFFERENCE||JSON||XML|
|Supports?||Supports only text & numbers.||Supports various data. (text, numbers, graphs, images, charts, etc.)|
|How Secure is it?||Low security.||More security.|
Real-World API Examples
Google Maps: We come across many APIs in our daily life, whether we are aware of them or not. Here are some such API use cases:
In fact, we all use Google Maps when we get lost on our routes. To return directions in XML or JSON format between geolocations, the Routes app creates HTTP queries.
Weather API: Users can download additional weather apps or use the built-in weather apps on their phones. The JSON/XML RESTful API uses this program to provide access to geodata and weather forecasts. Scalability, flexibility, and portability are all hallmarks of RESTful API architectures.
Flight Booking: When travelers search for flights, the results include all airlines that are currently flying.
Hotel Booking: When booking a hotel, users can evaluate the facilities and services of several hotels that fall within their financial range.
Payment Gateways: When we shop online or purchase something, APIs support the entire process. The process is straightforward with integration services provided by reputable payment gateway businesses.
Using different types of APIs to achieve business goals – simply put
In conclusion, several API types serve their respective functions. If you want to build a mobile app and integrate into this ecosystem, your quest is over. Choose Xekera Systems if you want a trusted digital partner who can help you! Feel free to contact us today.
What does API call mean?
The API call serves as the communication channel between two program or pieces of software.
What are APIs used for?
APIs are used to connect two distinct platforms together (applications or software). For instance, while paying for a purchase, the user uses a payment gateway embedded within the app from a third party.
How can iOS mobile apps be integrated with third party APIs?
An extensive process is required to integrate third-party API in mobile apps for iOS (or even Android). Developing the project within the provider system, obtaining an API key, an authorization token, etc. But rather than trying to do this yourself, we advise you to work with an API integration specialist like Xekera Systems.
What APIs are beneficial to mobile developers?
Among the useful APIs for those who create mobile applications are:
- Google Analytics
- Google Maps
- Foursquare API
- Facebook/YouTube/Twitter API
How does a programming interface for applications work?
The API interface functions when a server and a cloud application are in contact, and then servers are pinging one another or the apps are engaging with an operating system. API essentially sends the user’s request and the server’s reply back to the user.