In the world of web and mobile application development, terms like programming languages, platforms, designing, source codes and APIs are well-known. These days, the word “API” gets tossed around over a lot, but what does it mean? What would an API be used for? You often hear this term while discussing your projects with the team of mobile developers you hire.
In this blog, we are covering all about API and its development. So roll your sleeves up and tighten your seat belts because now it’s time for a roller coaster ride into the world of API development.
We know you are curious about API development, but it’s always better to start with the basics first. So,
What is an API?
API stands for Application Programming Interface, which is a software intermediary that allows backend software and services to interact with each other. To simplify, It is a set of concepts and protocols for the creation and integration of application software. It is a series of instructions that a programme or an app allows. For better results, it will enable the apps to interact with one another.
For example, If we download any application, it asks you to sign up with a Facebook account; here, it does not request us to enter the details of your Facebook account. Instead, it accesses the Facebook server data and helps you enjoy playing. The API development allows for communication between two services or goods.
It will enable one app to exchange its data with some other apps/platforms and promotes the experience for users without all apps/platforms being active and interrupted. And it also removes from the start the need to create a similar software or framework.
Moving on, let’s quickly discuss,
Types of APIs:
Open APIs: It is suggested that public APIs are available to everyone. They have no access limitations and are freely accessible.
Partner APIs: A licensure model extends access to this group of APIs.
Internal APIs: Through in enterprise networks, internal APIs are specially designed. With such APIs, the company typically checks the validity of its services/products. Jeff Bezos gave the creativity of such developments a special impetus that enabled Amazon’s services to be fully compatible and to be delivered as a suite through its Amazon Web Services business arm.
Composite APIs: It varies from the above classification in that they’re just a set of processes that are activated when a variety of other tasks are performed. Remember that the APIs listed above have been called upon to function at the demand of different APIs.
SOAP APIs: For web services to communicate with one another, there must be a set of messaging protocols. The Simple Object Access Protocol is a predetermined set of rules that enables specific messages to be transmitted. To publish descriptions of its interface, it uses the Web Service Description Language (WSDL). It uses the proprietary transfer of XML format messages.
REST APIs – A type of software structure used to describe web services is Representational State Transfer. As demanding codes may restrict the reach of their request to specific data instead of pointing to an entire block of information, they give immense API creation value. It reduces brief waiting time as received queries point to unique sets of data. In connection with the REST protocol, RESTful APIs are built.
XML-RPC – Designers use a particular XML format for data transfer here, unlike SOAP. Its bandwidth usage, as well as being easy to accomplish, is comparatively lower than other web service APIs.
Let’s discuss the features, tools, and terminologies of API development in the coming section.
The terminologies of API development
API Key: It is a unique identifier that is used to authenticate the developer, user or requesting a program to an API.
Endpoint- As the name suggests, the endpoint is the one end of the communication channel. When an API interacts with the other system, the touchpoints of those interactions are called endpoints.
GET – Using the HTTP method of the API to get resources.
Post: It is the HTTP method of the RESTful API for building services.
OAuth – It is a standard authorization mechanism that offers user-side access without exchanging any credentials.
Must-have Features in an API development
Paging – Sometimes, a user does not want to see the entire page, but only a preview of it. The API must be able to decide in just such a circumstance how much data to view through one go and with what frequency. It should also notify the end-user about the number of remaining pages of data.
Sorting: To guarantee that almost all data pages are received one-by-one by the end-user, the API must enable the users to sort data according to the time of change or some such other condition.
Wrappers: Such language-specific containers are a mix of API collections which transform calls from the API towards more user-friendly functions. Such calls are made without any of the users having any contact. These assist the receivers to more effectively grasp the API calls.
Error Handling – Efficient handling of inconsistencies may help to simplify the API system and therefore can reduce client-side problems on the server.
Other Features – Modification, Filtered Search, Sequencing, Documentation, and Authorization with OAuth.
Well now, To build or construct an API, there is a range of tools and technologies used. Here we have some top-rated developer API development tools and products.
Top tools for API Development
OpenAPI Spec Tooling: This offers a collection of libraries and frameworks that serve the OpenAPI ecosystem.
API Studio: Compose, mock, and share your requirements online for Swagger.
Dredd: It is commonly used only to verify API documentation against its backend design written in API Blueprint.
API Spec Converter: You can convert API Spec between various API spec formats.
Apimatic – Supports Swagger, OAI format, RAML, API Blueprint, IO Docs, WADL, Postman Collections and HAR 1.4 and more API definition formats.
Mulesoft Anypoint – It enables enterprise-grade APIs to be designed and published using RAML.
We hope you would have a complete sense of what an API and API development is as you’ve been through this blog. Thus the creation of web APIs is straightforward and could be easily incorporated into any web app or mobile app. If you have an API relevant query, call our experts today.