An API (application programming interface) is a set of routines, protocols, and tools that allow two software programs to interact with each other. APIs are an important part of the web today. If a program needs data from another program, instead of having to copy it again or get it some other way, it can use the API to request data.
What is an API?
An API is a set of programming codes that enables data transmission between two software applications. APIs are used when data needs to be accessed from a database or other external source. For example, the Facebook API allows developers to access data from the Facebook platform. The Twitter API enables developers to access tweets and other data from the Twitter platform.
Also Read: Is API a product or a service?
Examples of APIs
An API is a set of programming instructions and standards for accessing a Web-based software application. A software company releases its API to the public so other software developers can design products powered by the company’s service.
- Facebook has an API that gives developers access to certain features of the social network. Developers can use the Facebook API to create applications that allow users to post updates and messages to their Facebook friends.
- The Google Maps API is another example. Developers can use the Google Maps API to add maps to their own websites and applications. The Google Maps API lets developers overlay their own data on top of maps, and also allows them to create their own map applications.
- Twitter Bots: For anybody who has been on Twitter is well aware of Twitter bots. They use Twitter APIs and generate automated tweets. One of the well-known bots is the @ThreadReaderApp. If tagged under a long thread, this bot wraps up the entire text into a readable text on a page.
- Travel Websites: Many websites garner various information across different websites regarding flights, hotels, etc using their APIs. Trivago is a great example of how APIs can be used.
Also Read: Difference Between API and Webservices
How to use an API?
An API is a set of programming instructions that allow the software to interact with other software. For example, the Google Maps API lets developers add its functionality to their websites and applications.
To use an API, you need to first find an API that you want to use. Once you’ve found an API, you’ll need to sign up for a developer account with the company that provides the API. After you’ve signed up for a developer account, you’ll be given access to the documentation for the API.
The documentation will provide you with all of the information that you need to know in order to start using the API.