API: An Overview
Have you ever shopped at a place that promised lower prices by cutting out the middleman? Although, this might make things easier in the real world by not having to deal with that cheesy storefront and high-pressure salesman. Who’s desperate for a commission, the middleman or lady is very important in computer land. You see, the software that you use can be thought of as a club sandwich like a stack of different programs.
Some of which sit between whatever program you are interacting with directly. And, the hardware itself because without these layers programmers and developers would have to code differently for every single hardware. Configuration on the planet which would be impossible. Other layers sit between two different pieces of other software and help them talk to each other without needing to have tons of code in common. These software layers help standardize the coding process.
So that programs can interface with lots of different stuff easily and while you might be most familiar with a layer called a device driver. Device driver translates program instructions and talks directly to your hardware. Another layer called an Application Programming Interface or API can be just as important. But, if a driver is already there, then to serve as the link between your hardware and programs. Then, what does the API do? We will think of it like this Windows, Mac OS and Linux.
All provide a graphical interface. Your buttons checkboxes menus etc. that are easy to click on without that you would be left tediously typing commands for everything. You want to do like – back in the days when doss ruled the world of if you are a bash fan, then yesterday, similarly, an API provides a simpler way for developers to interact with other kinds of software. A really good example of this is social media plugins that you see on certain websites such as a news article, that embeds tweets or a page. That for better or for worse. Let people leave Facebook Comments under it. Both Twitter and Facebook have their API.
Is that they make available to web developers? Making it easy for them to bake twitter and facebook features into their pages without these APIs. These social media giants would have to share code directly with owners of other sites which would be tedious, difficult and possibly, give away certain trade secrets. But, if you are a PC gamer, you might be even more familiar with graphics, APIs, such as DirectX, OpenGL and Vulcan, which sit between the engine of whatever game you are playing and your graphics card driver.
These APIs make it easier for game developers to code, cool effects that bring your favourite characters and stories to life. And have them work regardless of whether you have an AMD or an Nvidia GPU. Since the API can talk to any mainstream graphics card, and as GPU technology advances, you will see new revisions of graphics. API is being rolled out, that can take advantage of more powerful graphics chips. You can learn more about DirectX 12 and Vulcan as well by reading the other posts on this website. But, even if you don’t game or argue with random trolls and Facebook comments, you are still taking advantage of APIs.
All the time if you’re a Windows user. Windows has its API. The Windows API commonly referred to as Win 32 or Win 64 depending on whether you are running a 32 or 64-bit application. Windows API makes it easier for programs to do things like talk to your devices. Modify your registry, use screen elements like button and status bars. And much more without making the developer code these things directly and also helping users by providing a more reliable and consistent experience. I mean, can you imagine if every single program on your computer had a different looking corner button in the corner.
So, while APIs might not be the usual star of the show when you are doing whatever it is you do on your PC or phone they make it possible for all of our desperate devices and software. To work well, with each other and enable the massive amounts of quick communication and high-end gaming. That we have got used to. I mean haven’t you always been a little curious as to how the sausage is made. But, if when it comes to payments, your website on your mobile app, you do not care how the sausage is made.
Real-Life Example of an API?
Connectivity is an amazing thing by now. We are all used to the instant connectivity that puts the world at our fingertips from desktops or devices we can purchase post, pin and pick anything, anywhere. We are connected to the world and each other like never before. But, how does it happen? How does data get from here to there? How do different devices and applications connect to allow us to place an order to make a reservation or book a flight with just a few types of things? The unsung hero of our connected world is the application programming interface or API.
It’s engine under the hood and is behind the scenes that we take for granted. But, it’s what makes possible all the interactivity we have come to expect and rely upon. But, exactly what is an API? It is a question everyone asks. In a plain language, an API is a messenger that takes request and tells a system what you want to do and then returns the response to you. Give you a familiar example, think of an API as we are in a restaurant. Imagine you are sitting at the table with the menu of choices to order from in the kitchen is the part of the system which will prepare your order.
What’s missing is the critical link to communicate your order to the kitchen and deliver your food back to your table. That is where the waiter or API comes in. The waiter is the messenger that takes your request or order and tells the system in this case, the kitchen what to do and then delivers the response back to you. In this case food. Now that we’ve whetted your appetite, let’s simply apply this to a real API example. You are probably familiar with the process of searching for airline flights online.
Just like at a restaurant, you have a menu of options to choose from. A drop-down menu in this case. You choose a departure city and date. A return city and date, tabbing clasp and other variables to book your flight. You interact with the airline’s website to access the airline’s database to see if any seats are available on those dates and what the cost might be based on certain variables. But, what if you are not using the Airline’s website, which has direct access to the information.
What if you are using an online travel service that aggregates information from many different airlines. The travel service interacts with the airline’s API. The API is the interface that like you are helpful. Where can be asked by that online travel service to get information from the airline system? Over the Internet to book seats, choose the meal preferences or baggage options, it also then takes the Airlines response to your request and delivers it right back to the online travel service.
Which shows it to you. So now, you can see that it’s an APIs that make it possible for us to use all travel websites, the same goes for all interactions between applications data and devices. They all have APIs, that allow computers to operate them and that’s what ultimately creates connectivity. So, whenever you think of an API, just think of it as a wair running back and forth between applications database and devices to deliver data and create the connectivity that puts the world at our fingertips.
We use a wide variety of business applications throughout our day managing our data and collaborating with other business users. Most likely it connects to a central data source or multiple sources, it contains some, if not most of the information that you need daily. It makes sense of your database tools connecting to those data sources and with the foundation of modern social interaction between business users.
Glossary and your company’s business terms and definitions, it is a central location for you to interact with your company applications and database tools such as ER studio database tools. Such as ER Studio Data architect through the repository you have access to your database models.
As a part of the many features, it contains, it has an API connection available to access data. An API is an application programming interface and allows one application to talk to another directly and securely. Your glossary terms and model data are right there for you to interface with using the API interface with connecting allows you to have a wealth of information available to you directly in your application.
Allowing you to align your current system data, right next to the business-critical connect data. Connecting your application to the API interface is simple, with a simple language of the REST API. Your application can interface directly with a connect server and retrieve send or delete any connect information.
You might be wondering how do I connect with an API? At first, we need something to make you unique for that we need to use a client ID. There are many API systems and we need to keep feel separate from all the other APIs. To get your client ID and secret to go with it, you start by emailing app ID.
With some basic information, your unique client ID is sent to you along with your secret. This is the secret key of your client application that keeps your data transaction secure. Make sure you do not share it publicly, the process for this is on our documentation, wiki registering.
API vs Web Services
- All web services are APIs, but all APIs are not web services.
- Web services might not perform all the operations that an API would perform.
- A web service uses only three styles of use: SOAP, REST and XML-RPC for communication. Whereas API may use any style for communication (sts. Calls in Linux). The APIs can be exposed in several ways which include: COM Objects, DLL and .H files in C/ C++ programming language, JAR files or RMI in Java, XML over HTTP, JSON over HTTP, etc.
- A web service always needs a network for its operation whereas an API doesn’t need networks for its operation.
If concluded most simply and shortly, Application Programming Interface or an API (“set of programming code”) acts as an interface between 2 different application so that they will be communicating with each other. So, API is a method through which the 3rd Party vendor can write the program with other programs. For Example, Google Maps API, YouTube API, Mob API etc.
Hopefully, with this guide on this updated tech portal, all your questions related to API Example, API for Dummies, What is API in Java, What is meant by API with example? API Wiki, Types of API, What is API in Android and API tutorial etc. are answered. But, still, if you’re struggling with any questions related to What is an API? (Application Programming Interface): API in Android & Java with Example, do let us know in the comment box below.