What does API stand for? Explanation for dummies from experts

What does API stand for?

You may not believe, but API is everywhere and this part of technological world is inevitable nowadays. You may have an awkward feeling that understanding of this idea is a bit difficult for you. This article is exactly what you were waiting for so long time. You will learn a lot after reading our material. Let’s start!

What does api stand for?

Api is a specification of possible interactions with software components. Let’s imagine a car as software component. In this case its API could contain such information about car speeding, hampering and turning the radio on.

3 levels API works on

  1. Application: Everything is quite simple here, it can be any app you are using on your smartphone or the software itself;
  2. Programming: API programmers use it for code writing;
  3. Interface: The way you interact with an app.

If you still have some misunderstanding when and how developers are to integrate API, let’s see one nice example.

You have invited your significant other to the restaurant. You have chosen something and you need a third-party to tell your wishes and bring your food on your table. It can’t be chef, as he is making food for you. You definitely need somebody to be a link between you and the place of cooking. It is high-time for a waiter to step in – an API (Application Programming Interface).

The waiter goes to the kitchen, tells your order and gives you the results. i.e. brings you the food. More than that, if everything was done correctly your dishes won’t fell from the tray.

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Types of API

There can be variants according to availability:

  • public;
  • private.

Public APIs are offered and produced by giant companies like Slack or Shopify. They are expecting developers will use the materials provided on their platforms. Companies share their ideas with developers, so that some inputs can be taken not to discover the continents again.

According to the name, an access to public APIs can be easily obtained without special requirements.

Private APIs are developed for use inside of the particular company. The company may have a lot of products and private API will be useful for the programms to communicate to each other.

Components of private API can be changed at any moment and place the owner would like. Changes in public analogue may cause a lot of protests and inconveniences.

Where to start?

Main question is where to get public API? The answer is lying on the surface. One of the most popular and powerful giants offers it for free – its name is Google! There are nearly half a hundred of solutions that can be used for Android applications, a wide range for APIs for Ajax and a great variety of app APIs that can be easily adapted to one’s tastes and necessities.

Just think, you don’t have to puzzle on the problems that were solved. Such free aid means saving your efforts and precious time. If you are agreeable with these ideas, it means that you have caught a lot about API and its use and benefits.

However…

Beginners in programming are not recommended to rely on ready-made solutions only. Skilled developers may have a look at the lines of code and catch the logic, while a lot of things may remain not properly understood if you have just recently started working. As a result, knowledge gap may lead to big problems in a year or some day later when similar cases are to be resolved.

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Be ready to admit a simple fact that API is not a solution for a lazy bones, but system application program environment, interface for your own projects creation. Unwise implementation can be compared with eating frozen meat from supermarket instead of baking it before. We hope this metaphor will hope you in polishing of your comprehension about API.

Do you have any questions about API remaining? Write us immediately to get response as quick possible.

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