API is an acronym for Application Programming Interface. Thanks to these rules and specifications, the programs you use can communicate with each other.
It is a term present for years in the technological world, but many people do not know what it means. We talk about API, an acronym that corresponds to Application Programming Interface and that allow applications and programs that everyone uses to communicate with each other.
Plainly, the API concept It is formal in nature and corresponds to the computer functions and protocols with which developers can create specific programs for databases, operating systems, online platforms or social networks. It is the interface that makes it easy for different programs to communicate.
APIs: what they are for and examples of use
Its use depends on the permissions that the owner of the API provides to third-party developers. You don’t see them, but they are the internal wiring that connects with code and rules for an app to work. Logging into an online game from your Facebook account or having a collaborative work app send you notifications to your PC is possible thanks to a API.
To understand it, imagine that API They are like a briefcase of tools, some full of them and others with only one function. Its uses are unlimited, since they are used by public institutions, private companies, local organizations and a long etcetera.
Its main function is to save time and money, lightening the work done by developers. For example, the API of a payment service for an ecommerce or the API Twitter or Instagram so that a new application connects to the publications of these social platforms.
These interfaces can be open or private. Even those that are not from Open Source They allow adding a specific functionality without giving the data of how the process is carried out internally.
The API They can be used to communicate with an operating system (WinAPI), with databases (DBMS) or with communication protocols (Jabber / XMPP). Also social networks (Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, Flickr or Linkedin), CMS like WordPress or services like those of the Google suite. APIs have made the social media marketing.
The API They serve all kinds of purposes: social, financial and online payments, ecommerce, for companies, administration or location. Only from 2006 to 2015 did Public APIs went from 299 to 13,146, as revealed this infographic from BBVA. Its growth has been exponential since then.
Use a API It is like outsourcing a function, whether it is starting a purchase process, accessing the stock of a catalog, identifying yourself on a social platform, liking a news item or buying a movie ticket through a website.
Integrating YouTube videos on a website, creating a chatbot for a shopping center, using Google Maps in a transport app or sharing flights and hotels in a reservation app is also possible thanks to this technology. They also use API companies that run on information in the cloud. In this case, they stock up on the API from Amazon, Microsoft, Google and other such companies.
Of course, sometimes developers are hindered by setting a limit of users, requesting payment for a license from a certain number.
This article was published in Business Insider Spain by Andrea Núñez-Torrón Stock.