Application programming Interface – API
This is a software that performs a brief return of data between two applications as they send and retrieves data. It is the duty of an API to function as an intermediary between two applications to talk to each other.
A typical example of API using a mobile phone is any application connects to the internet and sends data to a server. Now the server then retrieves the data, interprets and put up the necessary actions, and sends it back to your phone. Now the application that interprets and retrieves you with information that you wanted is what we relate to as API. However, the process at which these things happen is what we call API.
Let’s break it down to a familiar example.
Assuming you are off to see the president of an organization when you get to the office, you have to observe the protocol of the secretary’s office. She then offers you a sit and thereof, you can table your matter in order to inform the president of your presence for an appointment scheduled earlier. Now it is the duty of the secretary to inform you when to go in or not. Thus the secretary now serves as the API between you and the president for a scheduled meeting.
Application programming Interface API – Security
In as much as there is an intermediary, your phone’s data is never fully exposed to your phone neither is the server exposed to the phone. But both align together to communicate small packets of data, however, sharing the only necessary things.
The Modern API
Unlike the initial programming of API as a sort of any generic connectivity interface to an application, they have taken a shape that has made them extremely valued and useful. Here is what we’ve got;
- The modern APIs are really standard, developer-friendly. E.g. HTTP.
- They are easily accessible and broadly understood.
- Higher discipline for security and governance that are monitored and managed for performance and lifecycle.
- More of products than code. Thus, they are designed for consumption for specific audiences as they are documented, and versioned with the mind of users having certain expectations of its maintenance and lifecycle.
- Unlike any other piece of productized software, the modern API has its own software development lifecycle (SDLC) of designing, testing, building, managing, and versioning.
- The modern APIs are well documented for consumption and versioning.