What Is an API
Today, your most of the tasks are performed and completed with just few ‘clicks’ of your mouse and you get to see acknowledgements in almost no time on your desktop but have you ever thought how it happens or how online business system works? It’s quick and perfect with all home comfort. Yeah, software is the base of all. But equally important is an interface to help these softwares to interact and share and transmit the information. This interface is known as API- (application programming interface).
Definition of API:
API can be defined as a group of instructions and standard programming codes used for accessing different software applications and web tools. It’s a medium used by softwares to communicate with other softwares. Application programming interface is not a user interface. It’s a connecting link between two or more softwares only. API allows applications to share and transfer the information without user knowledge. When you pay phone bills online, you submit card information or net banking information. Phone billing web site sends this information to third party application for verification. Once information is verified correct and payment is accepted, this third party application sends a message to phone billing web for issuing payment acknowledgement. Though you access only phone bills web site, there are number of software applications which works together using respective APIs. API is said to be implemented when software provides functionality presented by API.Operating systems like, windows, files, networking systems and control systems like database or networking protocol uses APIs. API implies that the other software is connected with the application to perform the operation. API programming uses a particular language code in the form of XML messages to interact with the actions and behaviour of the system software and operating systems. Each message is assigned with the unique function of separate service.
The emergence of APIs has brought a radical change in the field of ecommerce and server communications. The integration of Payment gateways utilises the concept of APIs and it helps the client to communicate with the Payment gateway server.
A complete operating system contains more than thousands of API calls and hence it is intimidating to display screen contents by calling user interface applications. Companies release their API in order to provide easy access to customers. This results in brand popularity and gaining customer’s trust. On the other side, developers use API with other programming tools and guide manuals provided by companies to make their task easier. APIs are not visible at the user ends but they are of great use with excellent background performance and perfect suits for needs.