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What is an API? What are the types of APIs and their Uses?

What is an API? What are the types of APIs and their Uses?

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Updated: June 24, 2021

Application programming interfaces shortly known as API is an interface that consists of a set of functions and protocols which facilitates the interaction between two products or opens the door for an application to access data and features of other applications, services, or operating systems without having to be known on what they have implemented Individually. API simplifies that process of app development or integrates a newly developed application component into existing architecture. A typical API provides the flexibility to design, administrate, utilize, and give opportunities to innovate a new product.

 

With many APIs available out in the market, choosing the right APIs can be a tedious task. Still, a straightforward approach is to analyze the requirements and scope of the application while considering factors such as security, community support, analytics, and development.

Types of API


Here are the different types of WEB & Mobile APIs available for the developers

 

  1. REST (Representational State Transfer): REST is a set of architectural principles that includes client-server architecture for flexibility to work independently, statelessness to maintain privacy, cacheability to state whether client’s responses are cached or not, and a layered system to maintain communications. These APIs communicate using HTTP requests to perform various functions such as reading, creating, updating, and removing records.

 

  1. GraphQl: GraphQl is an open-source data query and manipulation language for an API that acts as a runtime to address various queries using the available data. Unlike others, GraphQl isn’t associated with any database and completely works on the existing data and code. Thus, it allows defining the structure of the data required and the structure of the data being returned from the server.

 

  1. SOAP (Simple Object Access Protocol): It is a protocol that uses XML as a format to transfer the data, and it is made to be extensible, neutral where it can work over a wide range of communication protocols, including HTTP, TCP, etc. while being independent.

 

  1. XML-RPC: It is a protocol that uses specific XML as a format to transfer the data, which is different from the one used in SOAP. This format is older than SOAP and uses minimal bandwidth, making it much straightforward than SOAP.

 

  1. JSON-RPC: This protocol is quite similar to XML-RPC, but the only difference is it uses JSON format instead of XML to transfer data.

 

  1. Web APIs: Web APIs are the type of APIs that can be accessed using the HTTP protocol. These APIs are typically used with JavaScript, and they set the valid requests, endpoints, and response formats to interact with the browsers. There is a wide range of services and features under Web APIs, such as web storage, web notifications, and different Web APIs with varied security and privacy levels.


Different Types of  Web APIs:

 Open APIs: Open APIs are also called external or public APIs, which are available to the developers with very few restrictions like registering, using an API key, or at times it could be completely open. An Open API is primarily used by developers of a company or organization to access data or services. Examples of open APIs are Facebook and Twitter.

Internal APIs: Unlike open APIs which are openly available for developer’s Internal APIs are the ones which are specifically designed to restrict the access to the external developers, and the members of the company itself typically use it to get of hold of different tools, data, and programs.

Partner APIs: Partner APIs are quite similar to open APIs, but unlike in open APIs, where the access is available for everyone in partner APIs, the access is available to the people who have special access (generally used for paid services or with licenses), and often an API gateway controls it. Examples of partner APIs are PayPal and PayU, Blue Dart, etc.

Composite APIs: Composite APIs are the APIs that combine different data and service APIs, thereby providing access to several endpoints on a single call. Composite APIs are primarily used in microservice architectures in which the data has to be collected from several services to perform a single task. These APIs will increase the speed of the task being executed while reducing the load on the server.

 

Furthermore, APIs are classified based upon their Category and Applications :

 

APIs in Healthcare: The FHIR (Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources) API framework is the most common API used among health care companies and is mainly used to solve complex clinical problems and exchange electronic health records (EHR).

 

APIs in Shipping/E-commerce: These kinds of APIs help the companies track their shipments and products from source places to destination addresses. These APIs will enable the developers to transfer data from one software to another and use that data in a single user interface, thus helping in the integration of various platforms, automate and manage the orders, streamlining the operations, etc. Shippo API, Kite.ly API, and Tariff Rates API are the most commonly used E-commerce APIs.

 

APIs for Events: Event APIs cover various applications and services in communications, such as organizing webinars, conducting meetings and concerts, and other microservices. Eventbrite API, Meetup API, SeatGeek API are some of the best event APIs.

 

Machine Learning APIs: These APIs provide a set of functions and procedures for developers and involve statistical techniques to develop predictive applications. IBM Watson, Microsoft Azure, Google prediction API, and Amazon machine learning APIs are top machine learning APIs.

 

Streaming APIs: In Streaming APIs, the data is monitored in real-time to collect the user’s information, thereby providing them accurate results and suggestions. In contrast, this data is extracted from the servers and is available for developers to develop software applications and software. Dailymotion API, Vimeo API, Deezer API are some of the most commonly used streaming APIs

 

Likewise, numerous APIs are based on their categories that perform user-defined functions while enabling the developers to develop various applications and software.

Bitcot’s integration is designed specifically for your business. All tools and APIs developed can be integrated into all businesses. BitCot continually provides support after the API integration.

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    Raj Sanghvi BitCot CEO

    Author: Raj Sanghvi

    Raj Sanghvi is a technologist and founder of BitCot, a full-service award-winning software development company. With over 15 years of innovative coding experience creating complex technology solutions for businesses like IBM, Sony, Nissan, Micron, Dicks Sporting Goods, HDSupply, Bombardier and more, Sanghvi helps build for both major brands and entrepreneurs to launch their own technologies platforms.

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