How do you think two users see the exact weather details from different geographic locations? And how convenient is it to sign up directly using the automatic Facebook or Gmail login on different websites? Lastly, isn’t it easy to get redirected to your preferred payment gateways during purchase? Ever wondered how this convenience is supported? Various types of API have made this wonder possible!!!

APIs are like magic wands that help developers save on time, energy, and a lot of coding. They are how various web services and programs talk to each other. Via the request-response cycles, programmers can easily create a gate for integrating two different platforms.

Numerous API formats available in the market enable the developers to sort their integration purpose.

83 percent of participants find API integration “critical” to their businesses and IT infrastructures.

APIs are like the center point of the present-day massive software ecosystem. These are used by Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc. Adding more to this, the apps interact with third-party programs via the same API.

API Integration – Explained in Brief!

In the first place, API integration is an app-to-app automated communication for requesting, sending, and updating information.

We come across API almost daily without realizing it. A straightforward analogy to understand the types of API concepts:

API is like the waiter in a restaurant who takes an order from the customer, gives it to the kitchen staff, and brings food from the kitchen to the customer’s table.

Furthermore, breaking down the term to understand the API integration meaning in its depth:

  • A = Application – Apps include the enterprise applications and software that organizations use to send over financial data, purchase orders, and more such integral information to suppliers, customers, and all other organizations.
  • P = Programming – This function involves developers coding to design and develop the applications and their interface.
  • I = Integration – The interface is how the software interacts with other apps.

What are the Needs of API Integration Platforms?

The needs for API integration are:

  • Connecting cloud-based apps
  • Easily developing new components
  • Enhancing the existing system’s performances
  • Improving overall efficiency & productivity
  • Meeting & exceeding other integration requirements
  • Saving time & labor costs

Putting Some Light on the Simple Components of API Types…

1. Multiple Formats
Not all apps use the same language and platform. Hence, the API for the same is developed in different languages, including JSON, XML, and CSV.

2. Documentation
Documentation is essential to make the API DevOps friendly.

3. Community
There are times when the smartest of developers also need technical help. Hence, robust developer communities help each other.

What are API Gateways?

API gateways are API management tools that are a medium of communication between the client and the backend services collection. Adding more to this, it helps in the management and execution of API. In short, it helps an API to sort its purpose.

While going through these types of API, are you wondering What is API Integration? Read our extensive blog on API development and integration to clear your basics.

Types of API Explained – How Are They Different?

APIs provide different architectural styles, communication protocols, and operating systems to satisfy unique integration needs. Developing and maintaining a suitable application integration model is an intensive task. First, companies need to understand APIs in a broad sense. Application programming interfaces are software programs that utilize protocols to communicate with each other.

The API has four types, in fact – applications programming interfaces. Ensure that you understand that here ‘type’ stands for the scope of use of these APIs. API service classification can be grouped under four types:

Types of API Explained

  • 1. Private APIs

Private APIs are also called Internal APIs. This type of API is meant for company personnel and not meant for any parties outside the organization.

Mostly such private APIs have weaker security and authentication protocols comparatively. The API is intended only for use within the enterprise. And there are enough rules and regulations to prevent users from doing anything wrong. The best example to understand this is the accountants’ payroll and HR systems.

  • 2. Public APIs

Also known as Open APIs, all developers can access the public API regardless of belonging to this organization or another. These are published on the internet to all the software developers for free.

Often, the enterprise API owners monetize a per-call cost to earn from the same. Since it is open access to everyone, this can gather a good amount of money for the admin.

  • 3. Partner APIs

The access to this type of API lies only with the authorized developers. In such a scenario, there is a pre-established framework for the organization’s partners. It can also be made available to other parties via a contractual agreement.

The purpose of this API is to facilitate B2B activities. For instance, an organization can share customer data with an alliance company without jeopardizing the safety of other data components.

The USPs of this type of an API are:

  • Stronger authentication via API Key
  • Authorization checks
  • Security mechanisms
  • 4. Composite APIs

This type of APIs aid the developers in accessing multiple data or service APIs. This implies that the development team can access several endpoints in one call.

It also helps combine two or more APIs to craft a sequence of related operations. Addressing complex API behaviors becomes easy by using the composite category.

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What are API HTTP Methods??

API http methods are the instructions for calls, message formats, data flows, etc. The commands are all-inclusive – CRUD (create, retrieve, update, delete). There are a handful of such methods used for different purposes in programming:

  • GET
  • POST
  • PUT
  • HEAD
  • DELETE
  • TRACE
  • OPTIONS
  • CONNECT
  • PATCH

Types of API Protocols & Architectures

API architectures define API structure designs in detail. This section will mention every API architecture with a keen perspective of API design and integration:

  • REST – REST stands for Representational State Transfer. This is a collection of guidelines for lightweight, scalable web APIs. Most web APIs currently use REST technologies. REST is an API whose most straightforward coding principles allow easy-to-understand, scalable, lightweight, and easily accessible. REST APIs are based on REST guidelines, primarily used for transfer from a server to a redirected user. The guidelines for REST API are explained below. By following the Guidelines, HTTP APIs can quickly transfer large quantities of data to the server and are therefore an attractive and reliable option for developers.
  • SOAP – It is a stricter protocol for more secure APIs. SoAPs are protocols that allow for the transmission of information between network devices and can be used to build APIs. The SOAP protocol standardized by the W3C uses XML-encoded information. SoAP strictly determines how to send a message, and the content of that message is included. Therefore, SOAP APIs are more secure than REST APIs, although their rigid regulations have made them more code-heavy and challenging to implement. SOAP is often used to perform internal data transfers that need high protection, and the flexible REST architecture is used more frequently everywhere.
  • RPC – It is a protocol for invoking processes that can be written with XML (XML-RPC) or JSON (JSON-RPC).

PORTFOLIO PICK!
We used REST API in making of Populaw and Hirely for our clients. Click on the hyperlinks to know more.

Difference Between SOAP and REST

The following table will help you understand the comparison between SOAP vs REST for better API management.

BASIS OF DIFFERENCE SOAP REST
How Strict is it? Strict rules & advanced security to follow. Loose guidelines for developers to follow.
Driven by? Functions Data
Bandwidth requirements Needs more bandwidth. Can work on minimum bandwidth.

Difference Between XML and JSON

Let’s go through the following image to discover the differences between JSON and XML.

BASIS OF DIFFERENCE JSON XML
Supports? Supports only text & numbers. Supports various data. (text, numbers, graphs, images, charts, etc.)
Focuses on? Data Document
How Secure is it? Low security. More security.

Real-Life API Examples

Knowingly or unknowingly, we come across ample APIs in our daily lives. Here are a few common API use cases:
Real Life API Examples

  • Google Maps – As a matter of fact, we all turn to Google maps when we lose directions. The directions app uses HTTP requests to return XML or JSON-formatted directions between geolocations.
  • Weather API – Users have in-built weather apps on phones, or they can also download different weather apps. This app provides geodata and weather forecast access using JSON/XML RESTful API. RESTful API architectures are known for their scalability, flexibility, and lightweight.
  • Flight Booking – When travelers want to check flight options, their search requests return with the available airlines.
  • Hotel Booking – Users can check out numerous hotels that fall under their budget and compare the amenities and facilities.
  • Payment Gateways – The entire transaction is supported by the APIs whenever we make online purchases or buy anything online. The payment gateway integration services by reliable companies makes this a seamless process.

Achieving Business Outcomes with Various Types of API – In a Nutshell

To sum up, different types of API solve their purposes. If you are interested in building a mobile app and becoming part of this ecosystem, your search is over. If you are looking for a reliable digital partner who can guide you — choose Excellent Webworld!!

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FAQs

The API call is the medium through which two different applications or software communicate.

APIs are used for integrating two different platforms (applications or software). For example, while making a payment for a purchase, the user makes the payment on a third-party payment gateway integrated with the app.

Integrating third-party API in iOS mobile apps (or even Android) involves a long process. It comprises building the project within the provider system, getting an API key, authorization token, etc. However, we recommend that you hire an API integration expert like Excellent Webworld who could do this for you.

Some of the helpful APIs for mobile app developers are:

  • Appcelerator
  • Google Analytics
  • Google Maps
  • Foursquare API
  • Facebook/YouTube/Twitter API
  • Firebase

The API interface works when the cloud application communicates with a server, followed by servers pinging each other or the applications interacting with an operating system. Basically, API delivers the user request and the server’s response back to the user.