What is API? Applying APIs to building websites
API is no longer a strange term when you make web applications, or you design an e-commerce website and use APIs of shipping service providers or wallets that support payment. electronics for your website. So, what is an API? What are the advantages and disadvantages of the API? These questions will be answered by Tino Group for you.
Learn about APIs
What is API?
API stands for Application Programming Interface - Interface application programming . This is a middleware/service that supports two different applications that can communicate with each other. Therefore, applying and using the API will speed up the process of building software and web applications without having to spend a lot of time and effort to build that functionality from scratch.
For example, when you go to a coffee shop, the waiter will come and ask you what you want to drink. The employee will then go to the bartending area and tell the bartender how to make the drink. When the preparation is complete, the waiter will bring the drink to you again.
In this example, the API is the server responsible for helping you contact the barista. If you are familiar with high-end cafes like Highland or The Coffee House you will find this example quite strange because you ask directly to the barista. But this is just one example.
Application of the api in practice
Web API is an API system designed and used in services and activities related to websites. You may not have noticed, but there are many activities and services on a website that use APIs such as: weather information at the top of the page, the function that allows users to log in to your website with accounts. such as: Google, Facebook, Apple, ... you are calling the API!
APIs for OS
On operating systems like Linux , Windows provides a lot of APIs, especially function specifications, protocols and connection methods. This is to help software developers create applications and software that can interact with the operating system.
API of framework or library
The API of the framework or the Library will usually describe and pre-define the desired actions that the libraries provide. You can implement an API in many different ways to make it possible for a program written in C to communicate with a program in PHP.
Advantages and disadvantages of API
Advantages of APIs
Connect anytime, anywhere thanks to the Internet
Providing a solution to shorten the time to software development, now only need API to use pre-built software.
Create a good and user-friendly experience
Two-way communication makes the process quite reliable
Disadvantages of APIs
Everything has some downsides. No exception, API also has one and quite significant disadvantages such as:
Requires the operator to have in-depth knowledge
It costs a lot to develop, operate and modify the API
Web API is not strictly RESTful service, only supports POST and GET mainly.
Security knowledge is required or the system will be very vulnerable to attacks.
What is Web API?
Web API is a method that enables two different software, services or applications to communicate and exchange data with each other. Usually, they use secure HTTP or HTTPS protocols and return data in XML or JSON form.
What is outstanding about Web API?
You can use the API to get information and content from supported websites easily, increasing the user experience. The API acts as a gateway and you can choose whether or not the information is allowed to be shared.
The ability to automate
The work is inherently done by human, with API, you will be automated from management to updating. This will increase productivity significantly.
Work in real time
One of the capabilities that made the API so popular was its ability to support real-time content updates and changes. This will make the information more accurate, more flexible.
There is a common standard to use
Any API created will have a detailed set of instructions to use. Because the cost to set up an API is not small and developers will strive to help any user or business get the best use of their API.
Applying API to programming and website design
When building an online sales website, you will need a lot of other services to support around sales such as payment, shipping, support for sharing information on other social networks, registration as a member. tablets…
Usually, large service developers create their own APIs. The purpose is to help other software and applications communicate with their software and applications more easily. You just need to apply them instead of having to reprogram from scratch, for example:
Use the API of the delivery units integrated directly into your website. There are also quite a few plugins that support the integration of the delivery units' APIs into the website. For example, the API of Fast Delivery, Economy Delivery, J&T all have APIs available.
Allowing users to register with accounts of social networks such as Facebook, Apple or Google makes it more convenient for your users to register.
Online payment is a very important thing because this is directly related to the property. You leave the hard work of development to software developers, you only need to use the APIs with a small cost to use them. This will help ensure customer payment process. Units such as: Momo, Zalo Pay, VNPay all support API.
If your website has a large number of articles or products, an API application to help users search for data inside and outside the website will increase the user experience. Google is the true "master" in supporting search.
At this point, you and Tino Group have learned a lot of interesting knowledge to decipher what an API is as well as its advantages and disadvantages. The knowledge of how to apply the API is really broad. So if you want to use the API you should take some time to find out exactly what you really need to avoid wasting time. Wishing you to be an excellent programmer!
The article has references to many sources: Mulesoft, TopDev, ITViec, ...
Frequently asked questions about API
What is Restful API?
Restful API is also known as REST API. This is a set of standards used in building and developing APIs for web services. To learn more about Restful API, you can refer to the full article: What is Restful API? How Restful API works.
Is an API a programming language?
No, as mentioned above, the API is quite similar to the functions you use in programming languages , each programming language will have its own set of APIs.
What is API gateway?
An API gateway is an API management tool that will typically sit between a client and a collection of backend services.
Where are the free APIs to use for testing?
If you are an animal lover, especially dogs, you can use the Dog API completely free to provide users with information, data as well as images about dogs. Similarly, we have shibe.online which also provides users with photos of dogs.
In case you like anime, you can use Anime News Network API to make new information about anime available to everyone (in English).
These APIs are completely free and have full instructions for use, you can use them for your testing and learning purposes.