Application Programming Interface API: Definition and Examples

Using the same rules and formats streamlines code and makes it more transparent. Standardization also facilitates collaboration among developers as they build software components with the intent to integrate with APIs. This, in turn, facilitates feature development and reduces time to market. An API Gateway is an API management tool for enterprise clients that use a broad range of back-end services.

api meaning

An API gateway is an application programming interface (API) management tool that sits between a client and a collection of backend services. Another API standard to emerge is GraphQL, a query language and server-side runtime that’s an alternative to REST. GraphQL prioritizes giving clients exactly the data they request and no more. As an alternative to REST, GraphQL lets developers construct requests that pull data from multiple data sources in a single API call. In recent years, the OpenAPI specification has emerged as a common standard for defining REST APIs.

How to Test API Endpoints

After nearly 30 years, APIs broke out of their local environments. By the early 2000s, they were becoming an important technology for the remote integration of data. The term “API” has been generically used to describe connectivity interfaces to an application. However, over the years, the modern API has taken on some unique characteristics that have truly transformed the technology space. First, modern APIs adhere to specific standards (typically HTTP and REST), which enable APIs to be developer-friendly, self-described, easily accessible, and understood broadly. Service-oriented architectures (SOAs) and microservice architectures are both comprised of modular services that perform specific business functions, but they have several key differences.

api meaning

All these features support scalability without causing communication bottlenecks that reduce performance. Some brokers also provide libraries in various languages to make interaction with their API easier. For example, a broker may offer a Python library that provides a set of functions, or methods, for placing a trade rather than having to write your own functions to do so. This can help accelerate the development of trading systems and make them less costly to develop.

What does the RESTful API client request contain?

API is the way for an application to interact with certain system/application/library/etc. Compared with the flexibility of REST, SOAP is a highly structured, tightly controlled and clearly defined standard. For example, SOAP messages can contain up to four components, including an envelope, header, body and fault — the latter used for error handling. Public APIs typically involve moderate authentication and authorization. An enterprise also might seek to monetize the API by imposing a per-call cost to utilize the public API. Another advantage of an API is that you don’t have to know the specifics of caching—how your resource is retrieved or where it comes from.

api meaning

The process is similar to how you access web pages in a browser. Web browsers load web pages by sending a URL to a web server, and the server responds with the requested page. Similarly, the client needs the right endpoint URL to request a particular resource from What is API an API. Upon receiving and validating the client’s request, the API performs the requested action, then sends a response back to the client. This response includes the status of the request (e.g., completed or denied) and any resources requested by the client.

Best API Management Software

The client completes a function (or procedure) on the server, and the server sends the output back to the client. Nurture and grow your business with customer relationship management software. In this guide, we’ll break down what an API endpoint is, what role endpoints play in integrations, and how to start testing them with public APIs (and potentially with your own).

api meaning