What Is an API, and How Do Developers Use Them?

When we teach about the internet we prefer viewing it as a network of interconnected servers. Everything we find on the internet is alive on a remote server, and the information and the content are accessed upon request. By now we should be clear on that. Any page we type inside the browser is our request to access a specific server and the content on it. The response is sent back, and the content appears in the browser.

Before we get to how the responses are translated and put into function, let’s understand the meaning and the role of API. Short for “Application programming interface”, An API is referred to as a set of tools that enables applications to interact with different software systems, retrieve and upload data from one to another, etc.

Developers love it because it helps them build software more efficiently and effectively. APIs make innovation more accessible because they allow the programs to communicate information and function in a way that is safe and fast. Special focus is placed on innovation acceleration because it significantly increases the productivity of the developers. Moreover, they can upgrade the product based on the real existing features and functionalities.

If you want to find out more about the API and how developers use them, then keep reading the article.

In a practical setting, for instance, iOS operating systems offer numerous APIs. To be honest, all the systems do that just to make it easier for the user. If you are making an application and want to embed a web browser that will display one or more pages and lack a program, you use an API such as WKWebView to embed an object to your application successfully.

If there were no APIs, programmers’ lives would have been much harder and every piece of function would have required an additional round of hard work to make it from the scratch. With API, when the functions upgrade with an original platform, let’s say Apple, for example, the functions in your upgrade too.

Let’s say we use Apple’s API for some software we are making that utilizes the camera. When Apple upgrades its camera functionalities, API will bring it to you as well. Note that this works similarly for all platforms, depending on what kind of activities you conduct. There is no doubt that API servers changed the way many businesses operate today.

Similarly, APIs heavily affected the way software is produced nowadays. From a social network ecosystem to the largest shopping web services such as Amazon, APIs transformed the game and implemented noticeable technological improvements.

In its essence, API servers allow communication between the applications. In other words, it enables the business products and services to make interactions with others without the necessity to know and understand how they function.

That is how the application development process is improved, simply by saving time and resources. To summarize, the things like versatility, easy management, innovation opportunities, and much more come with the use of APIs when developing applications.

Keep in mind that APIs are used for various reasons, and APIs are closer to us than we think. We are quite sure all of us have witnessed Google Maps integrated onto some websites we visited. That exact Google map is displayed right there thanks to the Google Maps API that allows map embedding.

Being at disposal of developers, the use of APIs makes the app development process much faster than it used to be. If there was no API and its magic, all the developers would have to code the maps separately themselves, which certainly would not be nearly short and efficient.