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What is an API (Application Programming Interface)?

What is an API (Application Programming Interface) – A Full Guide For 2022

Tech is the growing and fastest growing industry. According to Zippia, at the end of 2021, the U.S tech industry has gained a market valuation of $1.6 trillion. If you are a part of the tech industry, you must have come across the term “API.”  API Development is more vital in today’s market economy than ever.

If you want to book tickets for a concert of Beyonce, or you want to log into Facebook to check up on your friends, to make payments and transactions online via PayPal, all these things use API. Hence, API is one of the most important parts of the tech industry now.

Apart from that, API also has another side as well. There are fun APIs, such as FUN Translation, which translates English to languages like Dothraki, Minion, and Klingon. Moreover, there is the Pokemon API, which provides you with all the data on Pokemon in one place.

APIs world is huge. The people working in API development have an abstract idea about API. They know about the details and working of API. However, they find it hard to define API development.

What is an API?

API Development

API is an acronym for Application Programming Interface. To understand better, API is a way for computer programs to talk to each other.

API is an Interface between two applications/computers that enables communication with each other through a program. Moreover, API is a type of contract between the parties as well. For instance, if a party wants to know the weather forecast, they have to give their postal code to the API just so that API can deliver the weather forecast.

To understand what an API is! It is important to understand its technical terms. API development is the set of programming sides that allows the transmission of data between one software product to another.

Example- While logging in to Facebook, we put our credentials in the log-in sections, and Facebook opens our newsfeed instead of anyone else. It accesses the data from the Facebook server and lets us scroll through our feed.

MMCGBL is one of the leading companies in providing API development services. MMCGBL delivers quality work in creating API for your mobile or web applications. We have a team of over 150+ experts who bring their expertise to every project. We have maintained an image of delivering almost 1000+ projects on time. Our quality of work and excellence have been appreciated many times in awards.

As a leading API development company, we have completed different projects for more than 30 million global clients.

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API development is the core of all the apps that deal with communication between two products or services. Mobile applications and platforms are empowered to share data with other apps/platforms and ease the user experience without involving developers.

Moreover, API removes the need to develop similar programs or platforms from scratch, already existing, or code from other apps/platforms that can be used. These factors play a huge role in the API’s acceptance among the people, app developers, and business leaders now focus on the API development process and search for quality work on API development.

Classifications of API 

API development categories

API development can be classified into four categories based on its release policies.

Internal or Private APIs

An internal API or Private API has its application hosted by in-house developers. These APIs are not exposed to external users. They are used across different internal development teams to increase the productivity and utilization of the services.

Moreover, the aim of private API in providing services is to allow internal developers who are building new applications that leverage existing systems. 

The interface of this application software is designed specifically to improve solutions and services within the organization. Due to this, the only application is available for only people working with API publishers, even if the app is publicly available.

Partner APIs

Partner APIs are not freely accessible to everyone. These APIs are shown only to the strategic business partners. Partner APIs are similar to Open APIs in terms of visibility and communication. Partner API development is the most visible one and is used to communicate beyond the company’s boundaries.

However, the Partner APIs are only presented to the public API developer portal that developers can access in self-service mode. A business or company requires a specific entitlement to access the APIs in Partner API.

Partner APIs ensure that the 3rd-party solutions offer a decent user experience. It also ensures that they maintain corporate identity in their apps.

Read More: 10 Reasons You Need API Integration Platform

Public APIs or External API

Public API developments are also called developer-facing and are available for third-party developers. Public API development helps you to increase brand awareness and also allows you to receive extra income if properly executed.

There are further two classifications of Public APIs into two categories- the first is open, and the second is commercial.

In Open API, all features are available for public use without restrictions. It states that the description and related documentation of the API must be available. Open API is available freely for the testing and creation of applications.

However, in the case of commercial API use, the users have to pay the subscription to access. The publishers of API offer free trials, allowing users to review the API before buying it.

Composite API

Composite API is a category of API development known for combining different service data APIs. Composite APIs integrate existing API functions, which can perform many tasks in a single call. The performance in a single call boosts the execution speed and enhances the listeners’ performance in the web interface.

Working of API

API development working

In order to understand the working of the API, let’s consider an example. Let us assume that you want to book a flight. For booking, you opened some EFG applications or websites. Once you opened the website, you filled out the forms they offered. You entered your date of departure and returned date along with your city, flight, and other relevant details. A list of flights will appear on your screen in merely two seconds. This list will include all the flight details like price, timings, seat availability, and other information.

However, we sometimes still do not understand how accurate our search results are. A lot of work goes by in the development process to provide accurate data. However, it appears to be a work of only a fraction of time.

To provide an accurate result immediately, the platform sends a request to the websites so that it can access the database and get all the relevant data through API development.

During this process, API development performs the job of an intermediate, which streamlines the data sharing process. While on the other hand, the airline’s website and the flight booking platform act as the endpoints.

The communication between two endpoints is done in two ways in API development- first SOAP and second REST.

Although both ways bring effective results, REST of API development is preferred in mobile app development companies. The API development through SOAP is heavy and depends on the platform.

Best Practices For Designing Best API Development

Many companies solely offer API development services; an API development company or an API developer must follow a few practices to design the best API.

API Throttling

API throttling is a key feature because it allows you to control how an API development is used. Through throttling, you can set permissions whether certain API calls are valid or not.

Throttles control the data that clients can access through an API.

It is well established among the API developers that throttling is the best way to practice redirecting the overflow of traffic, backup APIs, and safeguarding it from DoS ( Denial of Sevice) attacks.

API Development  as an Enforcer

Application of API development keys or OAuth, the API development gateway, should be considered while setting up throttling rules. It is a must to ensure that only the users access the data. Additionally, it should be able to empower you to encrypt the message or edit confidential information. Above all, it should be able to track and analyze where your API development is being used and what changes may require to enhance API development.

Read More: What are Server-Side Mobile APIs in React Native Development?

API Development Security

It is important to ensure that your API development is secure, but it should not affect user-friendliness. If any of the users are spending more than minutes just for authentication, then it means that the API development is not user-friendly and needs immediate changes. To authenticate your API development services, you can use token-based authentication to make your API secure.

API Documentation

Lastly, it would be best if you considered a great practice of offering a wide range of documentation. It is important to create extensive documentation for an API that enables other API mobile app developers to understand the entire process in detail to utilize that information to provide a top-notch user experience.

To conclude, it won’t be wrong to say that creating well-crafted documentation of API development will negatively affect the project cost and implementation time and enhance API efficiency.

SDK and API Libraries

If you offer your development team reusable processes and code resources, you can boost service development and implementation speed.

API Development and Enabling of HTTP Method

There is an immediate need for you to allow your RESTful API development to override the HTTP method because there are some proxies that only support POST and GET strategies. You can do this by employing the custom HTTP header X-HTTP-Method-Override.

End Note

API development stands as one of the most significant. It has shown tremendous growth over the past few years not only. API development has grown not only from the point of view of software development but also from the point of view of business collaboration.

API development (Application Programming Interface) has been proven for business enhancements and profits by providing the necessary technological connectivity. It is one of the easiest and most commonly used; you can develop and integrate the required API for your business. API development is the essential ingredient in modern web development. APIs are the connecting dots that allows different software components to communicate with each other.

Any API developer must follow a few practices for designing any API development. Throttling, enabling enforcer, API development security, API documentation, SDK and API libraries, and API facilitating HTTP method are a few practices that each API developer must follow.

In this golden age of development, there are many software development companies and many software development agencies. API development is a kind of development that deals with software development and communication. A professional is required. MMC Global is a leading API development company.

MMCGBL and its team of more than 150+ experts provide API development services. We have experience in the market of over 20+ years, and in those two decades, we have completed more than 1000+ projects.

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MMCGBL has been awarded more than 20+ times for different causes, such as Best App Development. We have a history of providing successful projects on time. 95% time, we have delivered our projects on time.

API Development FAQs:

What is API Software development?

API (Application Programming Interface) is a collection of instructions and requirements that lead software or mobile applications to utilize the features of other applications, platforms, or devices for exceptional services.

Why choose MMCGBL for API Development?

MMCGBL is one of the leading agencies in providing API development services. We solely focus on delivering quality work on time. We have a success rate of 95% in providing quality work. We have a team of more than 150+ experts who have been providing quality work over the past two decades.

What is JSON API?

JSON (JavaScript Object Notation) is an encoding scheme created to remove the need for an ad-hoc code for each app to interact with servers in a particular manner.

How can I practice developing a better API?

Making a good API is easier when you follow these practices:-

  • Use Throttling
  • Considering your API Gateway as Enforcer
  • Allowing overriding HTTP method
  • Making a proper documentation
  • Determine the APIs and infrastructure.

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