API Full Form is Application programming interface. An application programming interface is a way for two or more computer programs to communicate with each other.
API Allows Two Software Components to Talk With Each Other
The term API means Application Programming Interface. API’s are a set of mechanisms that enable two software components to talk or communicate with each other by using certain protocols and definitions. As an example, we can see that the weather bureau’s software system consists of daily weather data. The weather application on our phone communicates to this system with the help of API’s and it gives us the daily weather updates on our phones.
How do API’s Work?
API’s structure is usually made up of clients and servers. The application that is sending the request is known as the client & the application sending the response is known as the server. As in the weather example, the weather bureau’s database is called the server& the mobile application is the client.
API’s can work in four different ways on the basis of when and why they were created.
- SOAP API’s- the SOAP API’s always use Simple Object Access Protocols as a method of communication or transferring messages among Client and Server using XML. SOAP API is a less flexible API that was popularly used in the past.
- RPC API’s- the RPC API’s are also known as Remote Procedure Calls. Here the client finishes a certain procedure (function) on the server and similarly the server sends the result to the client.
- Websocket API’s- the term Websocket API refers to the modern web development program that uses JSON objects to transfer the data. The Websocket API uses two ways communication process between the client applications & the server, the server also can send call back messages to its connected clients. Hence it is better than REST API.
- REST API’s- Rest API’s are the most popular and flexible API’s found on the web portals today. Here the client transmits requests in the form of data to the server. On the other hand the server processes the client input and starts the necessary internal functions & gives out the output data back to the client.
- What are the Different Types of API’s?
The different API’s are known both for their scope of use & architecture. The different types of API’s are as follows:
- Private API’s- the private API’s are used internally within an enterprise for connecting the systems to the data of the organization.
- Public API’s- the public API’s are open to the general public and it can be used or accessed by anyone. Public API’s may have or may not have any cost or authorization attached to them.
- Partner API’s- the private API’s are only accessed by eternal developers who are authorized to help business to business partnerships.
- Composite API’s-the composite API’s combine two or more API’s to look into complex system requirements &behaviors.
- What are API Integrations?
The term API integrations referto a set of software components that help us to automatically update different forms of data between the clients and the servers. Examples of API integrations are when all our images in the photo gallery is automatically synced with the cloud database. Another example is when the time and date of our laptop is auto synced when we are travelling to a different time zone.
- What are the Benefits of REST API’s?
The benefits of REST API’s are as follows:
- Integration- the REST API’s are used to integrate new applications with the already present software systems. As it increases the development speed for each functionality does not have to be written from the beginning. API’s can be useful in leveraging the existing codes.
- Innovation- entire industries can change with the arrival of a new application. Businesses need to reply quickly & they should also support the fast deployment of innovative services, this can be done by making changes in the API level rather than rewriting the whole code.
- Expansion- API’s present a rare opportunity for businesses to cope up with their client’s needs across various platforms. As an example the maps API allows map information integration via mediums like website, Android, iOS and many more.
- Ease of Maintenance- the REST API’s act as a gateway between two or more systems. Each system is obliged to make internal changes so that the API does not get impacted. This way, in future code changes by one party does not impact the other party.
How to Create an API?
An API design needs effort and diligence to become successful, so that other developers are also eager to work with the API. There are mainly five steps required to design a high quality API:
Plan the API- There are different API specifications like Open API, which can help to bring up the blueprint of your API design. You should think in advance about the different use cases of your API so that it matches the current API standards.
Build the API – The API designer’s first make a prototype of the actual API with the help of boilerplate code. After this prototype is tested, then the developers can customize it to internal specifications.
Testing the API – API testing is done in the similar way software’s are tested; the API should be free from any type of bugs or defects. There is API testing tools that is used to check the strength of the API against any cyber-attack.
Document the API – API’s are self-explanatory, API documentation acts as guide to improve their usability.
Market the API – Just as there are different shopping applications that act as a marketplace for retailers, similarly API marketplaces are for developers to buy and sell other API’s.
Question1. Can I disable REST API?
Answer1- No, you cannot disable REST API; if you do so then it will break WordPress Admin functionality that depends on the API being active. Although filters can be used so that API customers can be authorized or authenticated.
Question2. Does API Require Authentication?
Answer2.Yes, while making REST API you are required to get it authenticated.
Question3. Can I make API requests from PHP within a plugin?
Answer3- Yes, one can by using the formula “rest do request” within other WordPress code.