According to Wikipedia, web development is the work involved in developing a website for the Internet or an intranet.
Web development can range from developing a simple single static page of plain text to complex web applications, electronic businesses, and social network services.
It is a process that has web developers devout their time and creatives in writing out strings of programmable codes for specific purposes.
Web development is the process of building and maintaining websites; it's the work behind the scenes to make a website perform specific functions for a seamless user experience.
Web developers do this by using a variety of coding languages and APIs.
In today’s article, I will be sharing with you one of the applications that are considered useful in web development.
We shall consider its meaning, its functions, how it works, and some characteristics it is known for. However, before we proceed, I must give special regard to The Watchtower - Web Design in Dubai for making this platform possible to share my article.
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What is API?
API is an acronym that stands for an application programming interface. It's a piece of code that allows other applications to interact with a stand-alone software program.
If you're into web designs and development, API would not be a stranger to you, as you must find a use for it at one point.
API can be considered both a product and a service. While some APIs are free to use, others require payment for their use.
It is a programmatic interface for developers to build apps [either mobile/web/plugins] and services that communicate with other applications.
Easy to say, API is a way for applications to communicate with each other with ease.
How important is the API?
Web design and development find API as a useful application since it is used for several things, from letting users log into your site with their Google account or allowing your site to pull in data from another website.
A typical example of when you experienced an API was when accessing another website and a pop-up option to click "Log in with Facebook" comes up, or when the dialogue box allows your site to pull in data from another website.
The API plays a sensitive role in most of our online interactions, therefore cannot be disregarded, as you might have used API in your day-to-day life already—if you've used Google Maps today already.
API finds use within security encryption. If you want to ensure no one access your private information without authorization, using an API will help keep unauthorized users out while still allowing authorized personnel access at all times.
Is API considered backend?
Backend developers work with APIs to make that the data collected by the frontend is stored correctly and then used by the server to send information back to the user.
This act means that the system helps move data from one place to another.
The frontend communicates with the backend through an API. In the case of web and mobile frontends, the API is based on HTTP requests/responses.
The API is programmed using the "Backend for Frontend" (BFF) pattern, which serves responses to ease the processing on the frontend side.
Since an API is a set of rules or protocols that allow different software programs to interact with each other and work together.
When you use an API in one app, it communicates with another application that has its API. That second program—the one with the API—is called the backend, which answers the question.
What is the use of an API?
An API allows you to easily integrate third-party services into your application and customize it to suit your specific needs.
It can also be used to create mashups, which are applications that combine data from multiple sources into a single interface.
API is a set of functions used to build software applications to provide services over the internet.
The API finds use for the shopping cart app built by an eCommerce site to communicate with the database and charge customers' accounts appropriately when they check out.
The API also serve finds great use for most second-level authentication procedures for financial payment platforms, also in the process of digital forms with the use of autofill.
Is API a service?
Web designers and web development companies should know better, however, to ensure we all have a better understanding of the subject let us address this.
The APIs and web services can both facilitate data transfers between applications over the internet, they are not the same, nor should they be confused for one another.
The distinction between the product and the service is that web services are a type of API: All web services are APIs, but not all APIs are web services.
What is the difference between backend and API?
The back-end of an application is the aspect that stores and manages the program's data. An API allows one application to communicate its back-end data with another.
The API is the interface between the user experience’ networks of the website/platform in use, while the back-end simply ensures that there is an adequate form of storage to avoid data packet loss at any point.
Applications of API?
1. Weather Snippets.
The API finds applications in daily weather data. Rich weather snippets seem to be found on all platforms, like Google Search, Apple’s Weather app, or even your smart home device.
For example, if you search weather + Dubai on Google search engine, you’ll see a dedicated box at the top of the search results called a rich snippet with the current weather conditions and forecast.
This weather snippet is made easy by other platforms that Google interfaces with through the aid of the API.
2. Payment link.
Payment on an eCommerce site is also simplified with the help of the API. Similarly, the use of the "Pay with PayPal" option, is a good example designed with APIs to ensure that the end application may only do what is necessary, without being exposed to sensitive data or obtaining access to undesired rights.
3. Travel and Hotel reservations.
Travel booking sites are another ardent user of the API. With the use of the API, you can aggregate thousands of flights and destinations, and likewise showcase the cheapest options online.
APIs are great for travel and hotel services since they make it easy for machines to exchange both data and requests for reservation requests.
APIs are for ensuring that the services provided are consistent across different platforms.
For example, if you have both an iOS app and an Android app, using an API could make sure that they both use the same login process so that users don't have to remember multiple passwords.
Do web apps use APIs?
Web API is a web development concept that has found many uses in our works of life. However, it is limited to Web Application's client-side, and also it does not include a web server or web browser details.
If an application has to be deployed on a distributed system to provide services on different devices like personal computers, laptops, mobiles, etc. then web API services are used.
Is API the same as Microservice?
An API is usually a portion of a microservice, allowing for interaction with the microservice itself.
Another way to think about this is that the API serves as a contract for interactions within the microservice, presenting the options available for interacting with the microservice.
An API contract guides a consumer to use the underlying service.
A microservice is an architectural design that separates portions of an application into small, self-containing services.
APIs are also useful for ensuring that the services provided are consistent across many platforms.
For example, if you have both an iOS app and an Android app, you may use an API to ensure that they both utilize the same login process so that the users don't need to remember multiple passwords.
In summary, API is a set of rules that provides data from one application to another so that both applications can work together.
The truth is that APIs are everywhere, and it only takes picking up one’s smartphone to see them in action.
Whether it’s searching for the weather on Google, logging in with Instagram, initiating payment with PayPal, or interacting with a Twitter bot, all of these things are made possible by APIs.
We may not see them as much, but they’re integral to our daily digital lives. From all indications and studies, the API is considered backend and not front end.
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