N/APosted on - 11/18/2014
I would like someone to explain to me in a layman’s language what API stands for. I would like very brief but informative elaboration with a few examples interjected so that I can get a complete picture of what API is. Please also help me to understand the main functionality of the concept behind API. How can someone with limited knowledge of Computer Science and programming develop API?
What Is API and How Do You Develop API?
API stands for Application-Programming Interface. It is a set of standards and programming instructions for accessing a web-based application or maybe a web tool. Normally, it is the software company that releases the API to the public so that software developers interested in the API can design products and applications powered by its service.
It’s like allowing software developers to distribute your service by using your API. Generally, API is a software-to-software interface. APIs work without user intervention because it is the applications that talk to each other. Here is an example. Without an API, an app searches the current weather in Ontario by generally opening “http://www.weather.com/” and reading the page as if it was a human being and interpreting the content.
But with an API, an app searches the current weather in Ontario by sending a message to the “weather.com” API, probably in a structured format such as XML. The “weather.com” API will then reply with a structured response.