API (Application Programming Interface)

What is an API?

APIs are instruments that empower two programming parts to speak with one another, utilizing a bunch of definitions and protocols.

What does API stand for?

API stands for Application Programming Interface. In the context of APIs, the word Application refers to any software with a distinct function. The interface can be thought of as a contract of service between two applications. This contract defines how the two communicate with each other using requests and responses.

What are the different types of APIs?

Private APIs – An internal or private API is intended only for use within the enterprise to connect systems and data within the business. For example, an internal API might connect an organization’s payroll and HR systems.

Public APIs – A public API is open and available for use by any outside developer or business. An enterprise that cultivates a business strategy that involves sharing its applications and data with other businesses will develop and offer a public API. These are also called open APIs or external APIs.

Partner APIs – A partner API, only available to specifically selected and authorized outside developers or API consumers, is a means to facilitate business-to-business activities.

Composite APIs – Composite APIs generally combine two or more APIs to craft a sequence of related or interdependent operations. Composite APIs can be beneficial to address complex or tightly related API behaviours and can sometimes improve speed and performance over individual APIs.

What are the types of API Protocols and Architectures?

There are four categories of API protocols or architectures: REST, SOAP, RPC and Websocket APIs.

REST APIs – These are the most popular and flexible APIs found on the web today. The client sends requests to the server as data. The server uses this client input to start internal functions and returns output data back to the client. Let’s look at REST APIs in more detail below.

SOAP APIs – These APIs use Simple Object Access Protocol. Client and server exchange messages using XML. This is a less flexible API that was more popular in the past.

RPC APIs – These APIs are called Remote Procedure Calls. The client completes a function (or procedure) on the server, and the server sends the output back to the client.

Websocket APIs – Websocket API is another modern web API development that uses JSON objects to pass data. A WebSocket API supports two-way communication between client apps and the server. The server can send callback messages to connected clients, making it more efficient than REST API.

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