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APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) are a set of functions through which applications are able to communicate with other software components, microservices, and operating systems to share data and information.
In simpler terms, a user sends a request to a system that is delivered by an API. In return, the system sends back a response, still using the same API, to the user.
For example, you reserve a hotel room, an API will tell the booking system about your booking information which then updates the booking system’s calendar to indicate that the room is booked for that particular date.
How APIs Support App Developers
If you pay a keen eye on application development today, you will realize that it would be miles behind and slow if it was not for APIs. They (APIs) have made life easy for developers while at the same time helping them lead innovations that are changing our everyday life.
When building an application, developers do not have to start coding from scratch. They can build on existing APIs that offer the functionality that they are looking for while at the same time focusing on other things with regard to the application they are building.
Take for instance a developer who is building an application for a company to handle its employees’ travel schedules. One of the requirements might include having weather functionality for the employees to know the expected weather conditions of their travel destinations. This would be a lot of work for the developers, but due to these free weather APIs, developers will just need to implement one of them and get what they need. They will actually save a lot of time that they would have spent writing the complete code from scratch. But if you don’t want to save money on quality, check the best weather API pricing, and choose the one for your needs to stay satisfied with top-notch service.
Social Media Login
I am sure you have visited websites that allow one to create an account or log in with their social media accounts such as Facebook, Google, Twitter, or even LinkedIn. Have you ever asked yourself how this works?
First of all, it is important to note that these applications do not log into the users’ accounts. This would bring an issue with the security of those social media accounts. Instead, the websites implement these particular social media APIs and use them to authenticate users logging in or creating their accounts. The users have to confirm that they want to sign up or log in using that particular social media account.
Travel and Hotel Booking
If you have ever booked a hotel room or a flight, you might have used a site that has different hotels and flight companies and probably wondered how they were able to collect all that information or rather said the developers must have had a really difficult time building such a system.
Well, as much as we appreciate the work done by developers, this is made possible by APIs. Developers use APIs to collect all the flight and hotel information that they show on the booking website. When a customer books a flight or even a hotel room, the same API is used to check the availability of the flight or the hotel room from the source. Once this is confirmed, you are then notified. This might sound like a long process but it is not.Finally, once you have made a booking, you proceed to make payment. You might choose to pay using online payment merchants such as PayPal. This is also done using APIs. App developers implement a Pay with PayPal API that is secure to use and that will not leave the users’ PayPal accounts exposed. App development is an important part of the world today, and we all use apps to make our lives simpler. Fortunately, APIs have made this easy.