APIs: uses and advantages?
For several years, APIs have sparked a real digital revolution for information sharing. This multipurpose tool continues to grow in popularity, making it a must in many areas today. Widely used by web giants and service providers, APIs are now widely used by businesses of all sizes. We will see together what an API is and what are its uses and advantages for you.
What is an API?
An API (or Application Programming Interface) is a simplified way to access selected information and use it according to the desired application. This tool allows communication between the client that sends an information request and the server that provides the requested data.
To better understand: imagine that you are on vacation and you want to buy something. Your currency cannot be used to purchase items in another currency. On the other hand, many credit cards allow you to use the money in your account and convert it at a set rate so that you can purchase the item in the desired currency. This transaction is often instantaneous and convenient. In the example here, the currency conversion and transaction enabling the purchase would be the equivalent of an API.
Here is a typical application of an API: You shop for a hotel stay on a popular site that compares and displays different establishments and their prices. The hotels allow this popular site to use certain information such as the rooms available according to the dates chosen and the prices. This exchange of information is done from an API that takes the desired data and displays it according to the designated use for the customer.
You probably already know some popular APIs like the Google Map API allowing you, by copying a key, to add a map to your website. Perhaps you have also copied an embed code that allows YouTube to display a video on a website. The varied applications of APIs make them a preferred tool for businesses and suppliers in search of excellence.
Now that you are more familiar with the concept of APIs, let’s take a look at the multiple applications.
What are the uses and benefits of APIs?
First of all, there are several types of APIs. Some APIs are external or accessible to various people such as developers or partners. Other APIs are internal and allow access to certain data exclusively within a company, or a network of selected users. In both cases, the API is beneficial for the company that provides it and for the user who consults it.
APIs allow companies, among other things :
- To expand their market and reach a new audience
- To create partnerships
- To offer new functionalities
- To increase their visibility
- To accelerate operational efficiency
- To centralize information
- To optimize customer experience
- To offer personalized services and targeted solutions
- To simplify the use of a website or make it more dynamic
- To integrate your products and services into other sites or platforms
- To automate data recovery process
- And even more…
This often results in significant financial and time savings. Other benefits are frequently observed such as an increase in notoriety, flexibility or efficiency. With an API you usually get better protection since you control who will have access to what data. In addition, users no longer have direct access to the source system, which is more secure.
Development of your API
Could an API make your life easier in managing your business operations? Could an API help you expand your market? Would the API meet a need? Ask our API development experts at Appwapp for advice. They will be able to enlighten you on the most advantageous solutions for you.
Once the use cases have been found, they will help you determine what data will be accessible and who will be able to access it. Then, they will choose the architecture that will be used for the development of the API according to the needs and the structure already in place. Ergonomics and nomenclature must be considered so that the API is simple and intuitive.
We specialize in the development of customized web and mobile solutions. Whether in the creation of web applications, mobile applications, custom web development or complexe APIs, make Appwapp your partner in the success of your IT projects.
Take a look at our projects or contact us to discuss your digital solution needs.