Application Programming Interface & 7 Key Benefits
Businesses and life in general have become increasingly dependent on the internet, web apps, mobile apps and other types of software applications. These software applications are built using quite a number of component technologies to make them responsive, optimal and satisfying. To leverage the power of different external software components, Application Programming Interfaces (API) are being called upon.
Most large companies have built APIs at some point or another for their customers, or for internal as well as internet-wide use, it is certain that you must have made use of APIs at some point or another. Though the concept is popular, not a lot of people really understand it, which is what this article will try to break down.
What Does API Really Mean?
API which stands for Application Programming Interface, is a software intermediary that allows two applications talk to each other – by delivering request to a server and relaying the response back to the user or client environment.
An API is a way to programmatically interact with a separate software component or resource without having to leave the current software application, i.e. APIs allow users to complete an action without leaving a website page or other types of software application.
How API Works
An API sits between an application and a server, acting as an intermediary layer that processes data transfer between systems, often doing the same thing a user interface does – whereas a user interface is designed to be used by humans while APIs are designed for use by a computer or application.
However, here is how an Application Programming Interface really works:
- A client application initiates an API call to retrieve information – also called request. The API processes the request from an application to the server via the API’s Uniform Resource Identifier (URI).
- Then the API makes a call to the external program or server.
- The server sends a response to the API with the requested information.
- The API transfers the data to the initial requesting application.
Application Programming Interface has a number of advantages and benefits both to users, businesses, companies as well as to software developers. Listed below are some of the benefits:
7 Key Benefits of Application Programming Interface
- Empowers Automation: It reduces the amount of tasks an employee has to do in a web platform. For example, getting real time data or running some actions on the platform after certain conditions are met.
- Promote Innovation: an open API deigned for customers, partners, and vendors, may be used in ways you beyond the provider’s considerations which can also help the provider incorporate some of the functionality that their end-users have extended.
- Efficiency: with an Application Programming Interface, a developer can do more in less time because API specifies how software components should be assembled when developing a program, thereby reducing some of the software building components.
- Encourages Improvement: analyzing customer or user Insights – gotten from Usage logging, can help determine which services are most useful to them – this can help developers make improvements in the areas that matter most to top customers.
- Personalization: users or companies can customize the content and services that they use the most through APIs.
- Improved collaboration: APIs enable companied integrate the different platforms and apps they used, so that there will be seamless communicate as well as automated workflows and improve workplace collaboration.
- Added security: APIs creates an added layer of protection between data and a server by using tokens, signatures, and Transport Layer Security (TLS) encryption, to strengthen API security.
Common areas where Application Programming Interface are massively at work includes application logins, payment processing, third-party map processing, Social Media external management, customer relations management, remote operations, and lots more.
APIs have become a valuable aspect of modern business operations because they allow companies make access to their resources available, while maintaining security and control. With the help of a good product engineering team, businesses can efficiently re-model their software to accommodate expansion and opportunities provided by APIs.
Application Programming Interface is a powerful tool that can help speed up business operations, grow your brand’s reach, improve navigation, and so much more. If you’re interested in finding out how API can help fuel your business or you want to build one for your business, contact us at Podtech.