Application Programming Interface (API): Explore Use cases and Learn with Examples
Have you ever wondered how several applications interact with one another? All you need to make sure that two separate computer programs can communicate effectively is an API, or application programming interface.
By exposing a small set of actions and underlying implementation principles, programming can be made simple, as more than 90% of developers currently use APIs.
Let's go over the API and some of its most important examples. We'll start with a brief explanation of API and then go on to some typical API usage examples from everyday life. The main benefits of APIs and the top reasons developers invest in them are clear. Let's begin with a brief explanation of APIs.
1. What is an API, exactly?
The sole software-to-software interface is known as the API, or Application Programming Interface. It enables businesses to secure and standardize applications for seamless operation and the delivery of necessary features or information.
Furthermore, because APIs only function in the background of the system, digital experiences continue to be virtually effortless. APIs are definitions and protocols that enable various software components to communicate with one another using a set of straightforward and efficient commands.
Internal systems, embedded content, app integrations, data sharing, and other uses are common for APIs. Depending on its scope and target audience, the API world can be broken down into various sections. Composite APIs, open APIs, partner APIs, and private APIs are the four main types of APIs that are available.
Popular Examples of APIs in Use Today
On ProgrammableWeb, there are over 24,000 APIs, making it hard to go through each one individually. However, some of the most common API example types can be easily reviewed, such as:
These APIs allow the users to request data from databases like Hadoop, NoSQL, SQL, etc., using unified queries. The database API assesses the user request, which sends a message to the database server using the browser API. The message is routed to the database API, which converts the data into an HTTP response and distributes it to the browser for display.
Examples Of Databases API
SWAPI, or Star Wars API, offers massive Star Wars universe information. It offers information about the Star Wars canon, like important events, different planets, species, etc.
The GeoNames API offers geographical location details. It provides global location information such as postal codes, weather patterns, and so on.
Spoonacular's API offers different food information to users. It offers new recipes, safe food for people with different allergies, nutritional food information, etc.
Operating Systems APIs
These APIs determine any operating system’s use of resources and services. Businesses can design software development kits (SDK) with different developer tools and APIs in the operating system.
SDKs can create apps compatible with a specific operating system. Adding a photo from any device to the social networking channel is easy. The device’s operating system API allows the social networking channel to request access to the saved pictures and verify them.
Examples of operating systems API
Android Studio allows Google’s Android platform app to be created using specific SDK tools. The Windows SDK offers access to formatting tools and the newest developments offered by the company. Apple’s iOS SDK works with the iPhone’s touch-screen technology and helps create highly optimized applications.
These APIs access resources outside of the devices or manipulate assets or data on any external server. Hence, all web APIs are remote, while the remote APIs may not be web APIs. Remote APIs work by accessing the information database on the central server or computer in the network, like in a **local area network (LAN). **
Examples of Remote APIs
REST countries provide information about various countries around the world. Orbit API has different sales and marketing tools and different resource teams to manage workflows and work remotely. Skyscanner API offers users important flight information to create different travel applications.
It offers seamless communication of search engines, applications, etc. with different remote servers using HTTP or structured requests using a programming language. The web APIs send the call to the server API and complete the function. These APIs can be used to add new features to existing applications.
Examples of Web APIs
Kroger API offers information about grocery companies, including customer data, store locations, product offerings, etc. Etsy API offers different marketing tools, payment processing tools, etc., to create third-party applications. Product Hunt API offers the latest technology trends and new technology products.
Food Ordering APIs
These APIs can be delivery APIs or restaurant APIs. The delivery APIs link the food business to the different delivery partners located globally, while the restaurant APIs can add relevant restaurant and dining information to different applications. It is easy for food businesses to ensure real-time tracking and automated dispatch of food orders.
Examples of food ordering APIs
Untappd is the ideal API for beer. Food API is the leading database for grocery and food nutrition APIs for different restaurants. US Restaurant Menus is the leading food ordering API, with more than 30 million individual menu items and 300,000 restaurant menus.
3. Examples of APIs Used in Our Daily Lives
It is not true if you think you’re far away from the APIs, as we all use different APIs in our daily lives. Some of the top APIs used daily include:
Social Media Bots
How much time do you spend on social media platforms like Facebook? All leading social media platforms use different bots that use social media APIs for different tasks.
The social media bots leverage the social media APIs to integrate successfully into the social media platform’s internal software system. Some social media bots include generating great stories seamlessly, tagging bots under different threads, etc. It can wrap all text from different threads and present it as readable text.
Log-in using XYZ
Have you seen these options on online platforms like “Log in using Google” or “Log in using Facebook"? These options allow users to log in to the online services without opening a separate account on the platform.
APIs are used to connect the different platforms while logging in using different accounts. The addition of login details on different online platforms must integrate well with the XYZ platforms.
Do you see weather data on your smartphones? Weather data is one of the more common forms of APIs. These weather snippets are on different platforms, like smart home devices, Apple’s Weather app, Google Search, etc. The search results in the weather snippets yield current weather conditions and forecasts.
This information is sourced from the third-party applications on the different platforms. These third parties share the latest weather details, which are easy to reformat according to the platform. Different weather APIs cover weather snippets.
Pay with Paypal
How soon do you pay with PayPal monthly? PayPal is one of the widely used examples of APIs that allow users to connect personal financial information to their PayPal accounts.
It is a leading fintech service that offers easy and secure money transfers while staying embedded in different websites requiring online transactions. These websites don’t have direct access to bank or card information, which is ensured only through the dedicated API integrations.
Who doesn’t use Google Maps? The Google Maps API provides several geographic attributes to users within seconds. It is easy to locate places based on things like relative distance from the current location, reviews, business hours, contact information, restaurants, etc. The Google Maps application leads to the Google Maps website to offer quick information.
It is another leading API that helps businesses create connections and relationships with different travel websites. It is easy for businesses to share different travel packages for travel and lodging services.
All this information exchange is possible only with the leading travel APIs. This dedicated use of the application programming interfaces is leading the way for multidisciplinary business benefits.
Who doesn’t order through the leading online platforms these days? APIs are widely used on the most popular e-commerce platforms to ensure security, speed, and scalability. All the key functions of e-commerce, like site search, currency conversion, etc., require dedicated APIs for seamless operations.
Further, the different microservices, which offer independently deployable services, encapsulation of different functionalities into one, etc., come as a single application through APIs only.
4. Why Should You Use APIs?
It is not difficult to comprehend how various computer programs can share or request content, services, or features through APIs. Let's say you believe that the variety of advantages APIs offer to providers and customers is the primary reason why various businesses are utilizing them. Customers of the API can request access to various server resources or automate various internal tasks.
Improved operations, increased innovation, and increased customer satisfaction are the primary benefits of APIs for consumers. When it comes to API providers, it's simple to find business opportunities and boost revenue. Customers and service providers benefit from the enormous scalability offered by API services.
5. What Are the Benefits of APIs?
There are a number of advantages to using APIs, whether you use them for task automation or to request access to various server resources. For various customers, APIs offer a number of significant benefits, including:
Internal productivity enhancement through the use of productivity APIs is possible. Strengthening transparency, quick collaboration, and streamlining operations are among these benefits.
Employees at numerous leading businesses, including Amazon, are now required to communicate exclusively via APIs. It makes it possible for businesses to exchange capabilities and data throughout the business premises in a way that is well-managed and consistent.
As a result, a lot of businesses can build their own APIs to quickly communicate with customers and increase productivity. Additionally, APIs reduce the mixing of data from various sources. APIs implement 100% visibility and ensure that no important information is overlooked.
**User Satisfaction **
APIs are a sign that users will ultimately be satisfied. It simply overcomes the likelihood of obtaining satisfaction from a single source. APIs make it easy to connect to a variety of sources quickly, allowing customers to take full advantage of services' extensive functionality. For instance, the best eateries are incorporating maps into their menus with the help of application programming interfaces (APIs).
As a result, users appreciate these additional services and don't have to worry about finding the restaurant. Users will also be able to receive highly accurate data of the highest value thanks to the highly personalized experience.
Developers are able to reuse software components and create solutions based on repetitive work thanks to internal or third-party APIs. Businesses can use APIs to enhance the user experience and service features.
A win-win scenario for a variety of businesses and customers could be created by utilizing a single API gateway. It is simple for the teams to concentrate on the primary pain points and expand their services in line with the competition because the features and user experience are quickly addressed.
As a result, third-party APIs can help businesses enter new markets by allowing them to share ideas and gain input from a variety of sources. In addition, increased business value and improved efficiency fuel innovation.
It is easy to comprehend the intriguing world of APIs given that the API management market is expected to reach a value of USD 5.1 billion by the end of 2023.
Since their inception as a means of establishing a connection between two distinct programs, APIs have advanced significantly in terms of usage in contemporary daily life. As a result, it is simple to comprehend the various API examples with their crucial details.
Based on the various benefits, it is simple to comprehend the main reasons developers rely on these programming interfaces. In order to ensure that