An Application Programming Interface (API) allows websites and businesses to be more functional by providing methods that communicate between several software components. With API’s, applications can talk to each other without any intervention or assistance. API’s are an interface that enables data to be exchanged between programs, or requests to be made for services from other computer programs. Programmers can create a set of commands, protocols and functions to set a software to perform operations and interact with an external system in the required way. An API can be a web-based system, a database system, an operating system, software library or computer hardware and often includes routines, object classes, data structures, remote calls or variables.
API’s can be developed and integrated for both mobile and desktop operating systems, providing commands that can access the file system, perform file operations and include network commands that send and receive data over the internet or a local network. API development is done by writing unique code that tells your software to stream data from your various applications, so that you can generate reports or pull up information from various sources. In the same way, the API assists your customers in accessing their information or searching on your website to find the information they require. Mobile apps and search tools use API’s to extract information and businesses often use API’s to streamline work processes.
When you book a train ticket online and pay by credit card, the website uses an API to send your credit card details to a remote application. The remote application then authenticates that your information is correct and takes the payment from your card. Once it verifies your information and payment is authorised, the remote application also sends a response back to the train ticket website providing payment confirmation that the ticket can be released. API is integrated behind the scenes of your website to connect your software, creating a seamless method of system communication and providing a high-quality user experience for your website visitors. API development can provide a solution for businesses from all sorts of sectors and is simply integrated into other web-based software applications to support a continuous communication for your data.
API’s have especially been the perfect solution for many businesses who have systems that store masses of valuable data that can drive sales and cut costs. With the expanding online marketplace, companies are increasingly offering more digital services to customers which positively result in more revenue and data. Businesses are not only relying on this forever growing exchange of data but they are also depending on services from outside organisations. So, unless businesses have trustworthy API’s to communicate between the software they rely on, data can become isolated and hard to access, causing frustration for their customers. An application programming interface is the solid link that chains the business applications together and keeps the data accessible.
If you would like to know more about API development and integration, give us a call today or pop into the office for a cup of tea and a chat.