What is API
Even five years or so, another overwhelming stage develops to raise our world to another level.
The number of SaaS (Software as a service,also known as the on-demand model) companies or startups has blasted and there’s a secret of how they can stand out of the crowd: API. You may heard of API a lot. But what exactly is API? This is a question that every one asks. (We're glad you did.)
Technically, Application programming interface (API) is a set of routines, protocols, and tools for building software applications.....(Er... What the hell are you talking about?) Let me put it in this way. We are associated with the world and each other, more than ever. How can this happen? How would you get from here from there? How do different applications and devices connect with each other to permit us to do things you wanna do online? How? The secret is API, the application programming Interface. ( Now we’re here again.) It’s the motor under in the engine and it is off camera that we underestimate. An API determines how software components should interact and APIs are utilized when programming graphical user interface (GUI) components. A decent API makes it easier to build up a program by providing all the building blocks. A software engineer then puts the blocks together. (Er.... Say what now?)
To be clear, an API is the messenger that takes requests and tells the computer system what you want to do and then returns the response back to you. Let more show you an example. Think of an API as a waiter in a restaurant. Imagine you’re sitting at the table with a menu of choices to order from. And the kitchen is the part of the system which will prepare your order. But what is missing here is the a critical link to communicate your order to the kitchen and deliver your food back to the table. That is where the waiter or API comes in.
Now we’ve whetted your appetite.How about we apply this to a real API case. You’re probably familiar with the process searching for airline flights online. Just like at a restaurant you have a menu of options to choose from. In order to book your flight, you interact with the airline’s website to access the airline’s database, to see if any seats are available on those dates and what the cost might be based on certain variables. But what if you’re not using the airline’s website, which has direct access to the information what if you’re using an API. The API is the interface can be asked by like travel service to get information from airline system over the internet to book seats. It also takes the airlines response to a request and deliver it right back to the online travel service which then shows it to you.
So now you can see all interaction between application data and devices. They all have APIs that allow computers to operate them. Whenever you think of an API, just think of it as your waiter running back and forth between Applications databases and devices to deliver data and create connectivity that puts the world together.
The waiter is the messenger that takes your request or order and tells the system( in this case the kitchen) what to do and then delivers the response back to you( or food).
Create your own APIs
There are many different types of APIs for operating systems, applications or websites. Windows, for example, has many API sets that are used by system hardware and applications — when you copy and paste text from one application to another, it is the API that allows that to work. Today you can create your own APIs.
Author: The Octoparse Team
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