Each modern web application needs to interact with varying applications and services to deliver richer user experience. The application programming interfaces (APIs) designed as software intermediary to facilitate interaction between multiple applications. While using web applications, developers use a variety of APIs to extract and share data in accessible format.
They often use an API as a messenger to send requests to a system, convey the action to be performed to the system, and send the response received from the system. The developers even take advantage of various technical characteristics of APIs to make the web application deliver richer user experience by interacting with various applications and services.
Importance of APIs for Web Application Developers
- Adhere to Specific Standards: Each API nowadays adhere to widely used standards like HTTP and REST. The standardization makes the API accessible to web developers. The developers can further take advantage of the standardization to understand and use the specific API efficiently.
- Developed as Products: The APIs are developed just like other software products. Each API is designed to accomplish a specific task or action. Also, each API comes with its own versions and documentation. The versioning enables web developers to use the right API according to their precise needs.
- Own SDLC: Most APIs are nowadays developed just like normal software applications. Hence, each API has its own software development lifecycle (SDLC). The SDLC of an API includes phases like development, testing, deployment, maintenance, and retirement. The SDLC helps web developers to avail updated and flawless APIs.
- Focus on Security: While writing a new API, programmers nowadays focus extensively on its security feature. The emphasis on security makes the APIs communicate multiple applications securely. Also, the web developers can take advantage of the security features to monitor, manage, and scale the APIs more efficiently.
Varying Usage of APIs for Web Application Development
Make Web Applications Interactive
The APIs make it easier for developers to make a web application interact with various applications and services seamlessly. The developers use APIs to extract and access data in a simple and understandable format regardless of the third-party application. The interaction enables users to access a variety of relevant services while using the web application.
Access Data from Multiple Online Sources
Access Data from Remote Databases
Most web developers nowadays use APIs to make their web application access data stored in remote and pass-word protected databases. They can simply use API login credential to make the website interact with remote databases and access database-driven resources. Some APIs even allow developers to connect and access remote servers without any hassle.
Add Functionalities to the Web Applications
Each developer nowadays has option to choose from a wide range of APIs belonging to various categories. Hence, he can easily use the right API to enhance the web application’s functionality without writing additional code. While writing modern web applications, developers use APIs from a number of categories including eCommerce, shopping, social networking, mapping, music, search, photos, videos, and telephony.
Automate Repetitive Tasks
Many developers nowadays use APIs to perform a variety of repetitive and non-core tasks while building custom enterprise apps. They even use specific APIs to control various design elements of a website including colors, font sizes, button styles, and character sets. The APIs help developers to reduce development time significantly while keeping the web application’s integrity intact.
Structure Web Applications
A steady increase is being noted in the number of developers adopting API-first development. They accelerate web application development by keeping the front-end and back-end separated, while making the front-end and back-end interact through APIs. They further combine multiple APIs to keep the web application modular and maintainable. The modular design makes it easier for developers to modify or update the web application simply by adding or removing specific APIs.
On the whole, the web application developers have option to choose from a wide range of APIs according to their precise needs. The third-party APIs help developers to enhance the web application’s functionality, performance, and user experience without writing additional code. Hence, the APIs are used widely by developers to make their web applications deliver richer user experience.