Everyone knows about APIs, but yet mislead with facts!

Everyone knows about APIs, but yet mislead with facts!

2019, Sep 02    

As we all know,

API is termed as Application Programming Interface.

Before digging deeper into the discussion:

[Following a formal definition before the discussion is good for health and mind too ] :P

“An application program interface (API) is a set of routines, protocols, and tools for building software applications. An API specifies how software components should interact. Additionally, APIs are used when programming graphical user interface (GUI) components. A good API makes it easier to develop a program by providing all the building blocks. A programmer then puts the blocks together.”

To get an exact view, let's start the discussion with the server!

A server can be classified both as software and hardware. It accepts and responds to the requests which are made over the internet. The device which is used to make the request, and receives the response from the server, is called a client. The term commonly refers to the computer system that receives the request for a web document and sends that information to the client.
The server has wide usage, as some store data on it, while some use it for different work. Most people interact with Web Servers these are the servers that provide you with a webpage when you visit a website. It works in the same way that a program like Chess waits to pick a move, a web server executes a program that waits for a person to ask/pick for a web page.

The webpages are used to make things easier and are used to visualize the information to the user in an efficient manner. Like filling a google or any other form, it’s a convenient method for adding information and submitting it, but what if the same task has to be done for thousands of people? How much will it be time-consuming if we have to copy hundreds of information from one site to another one? Bit hectic, no? You couldn't want anything more than to designate this work to a PC so it tends to be done efficiently, rapidly and precisely.
Shockingly, the attributes, the styles that a developer puts to make sites ideal and fascinating for people make them hard for a computer to understand and use.
Here, API plays a great role and gives a helping hand.

An API is a tool that makes a website’s data digestible for a computer.
Through these API a computer can view and edit the data, just like a college student does by loading pages and submitting forms.

Little confusion that should be clear:

I observed that at the point when individuals talk about APIs and discuss its concepts, they mostly generalize to "a publicly accessible web-based API that is used to provide the user with information, likely in JSON or XML". There is a need to understand that API is not a server or a database, it is providing one with the access points for the server itself.

Therefore, API makes working with data easier which gives an upper hand to developers, as one can write various software to automate the tedious work and to minimize labor-intense tasks. It’s a faster approach as well, think of an instance where you as a data enterer were switching b/w two sites and copying the information from one to another, how much time and patience it will consume? same time computer will do that work in seconds just by making an API call followed with some minimal instruction given to it.

So, an overview that how an API is used?

This area covers a basic overview that how an API is being used.

api Whenever, an API call is made b/w two systems (websites, desktops et al) and link them up, they are supposed to be in integration. The integration is two-sided, one being server (we talked about it earlier). The fact being that the server is providing the API. Logically, API is nothing but another program that is running on one of the servers. The opposite side of the server is the Client. The Client is said to be another separate program that is aware of the data available through API and knows how to manipulate it. </p>

An example being a Web app in a browser. The process is that a request by the client is made to the server over an Internet through an API call. The server, in turn, gives a response through the same path back to the client in the form of API data. When one site pulls in data from the other, the site providing the data is acting as the server, and the site fetching the data is the client.
Another example being When you push the refresh button your app, it talks to a server via an API and fetches the newest info.

For in-depth functioning, we will dig deeper in later writings. I hope you got a fair idea about the same. Thanks for reading it till here.

echo "Adieu, till next!!"