Lately, you might come across the term API and not fully understand the meaning of it, and Google gives you overly complex definitions that are overflowing with other words that need to be explained. But this is the most straightforward technology we use daily, and we do not even notice it. Today we want to discuss what it is and what benefits it has both within the way of integrating it into any business as well as in everyday life.
What is an API actually is
API is an abbreviation that stands for Application Programming Interface. It is an interface through which one software interacts with another. So, this is a particular contract that allows different applications to exchange information.
Also, programmers widely use it when creating new software, as it can work as pre-built building blocks for developing software. Some experts compare the API to the postman, who brings queries to a third-party server instead of post offices and returns with a whole bag of data. Many users actively use it and do not even suspect it. But for this system to work correctly, it must regularly conduct functional and non-functional testing. Because even a slight suspension of the work of such APIs can significantly affect the conduct of various business processes. In practice, this will look like a normal stop, and if the information is not transmitted in a constant mode, but for example, once a week, then such a stop in the work of the API will not even be detected immediately. And as a solution to such a problem, it is required to conduct API testing from time to time, which you can learn more about that services on this page, which will help you monitor and keep all processes up to date and respond to any incidents in a timely manner.
How to use an API in business?
The API is widely used in various business processes in absolutely all companies that exist on the market today. Let’s take a look at the 5 most important ones.
1. Website Analytics
If you have your website, you should use various tools to analyze your site’s performance. For example, the popular Google Analytics tool allows you to understand how many people visit your site daily and how much time they spend using it. It is part of the Google Cloud API Platform and offers several different APIs for analytics. It doesn’t matter what Google Analytics features you use; you’re still dealing with the Application Programming Interface.
2. Project management tools
More and more companies today prefer to work remotely, so they need convenient project management tools. It allows specialists from different industries to exchange the necessary information for the further development of the project. Also monitor the progress of tasks, assign responsible persons, monitor deadlines, observe any possible errors that appear during the implementation of projects, and compile and update the portfolio of each employee, where you can paint a personal development map. Among the most popular such tools are:
- Microsoft Teams,
Each has its advantages and disadvantages, but all use an API to exchange information. Every time you link some external reports, you are using the API. They pass data from one software application to another so your partners can see it immediately. API is also widely used in various industries, including medicine apps, entertainment or banking ecosystems.
3. Search engines
Have you ever wondered how often you use Google or Bing to find the needed information? In addition, all search engines within websites use roughly the same principles for searching as the major search engines. All of them use an API to exchange information between different pages.
Third-party servers receive a request via an API, respond with what the user is looking for, and then the information is displayed on your site. This process takes only a few minutes, but it involves a lot of work to analyze all the information on the Internet. API allows you to simplify this process as much as possible. In addition, since this process occurs unnoticed by the user, few people know about its existence.
4. Online payment systems
Today, more and more people prefer to shop online. For the eCommerce site to work efficiently, you must ensure that it is connected to payment systems. It allows you to pay for goods and services for the user instantly.
The fastest and easiest way to get paid for your services online is to use the Payment Gateways API. This technology is already integrated into the payment process, so the user does not need to study the technology first, but it is already inside and is called automatically. The most popular payment systems that use this technology are PayPal, Stripe, Skrill, Dwolla, and many others.
5. Social networks
They are not only an opportunity to communicate with friends and share news. Practice shows that this is very effectively used for marketing purposes. So, for example, with the help of social media pages, you can promote your products, increase brand awareness and even sell your products.
In addition, many platforms make signing up as easy as possible using social media pages such as Facebook, Google+, or LinkedIn.
Also, often on the sites, you can find the “Share” buttons; if you use them, the material of interest will immediately appear on your page on social networks.
In all these cases, you are using social APIs. They make it as quick and easy as possible for you to share the necessary information and register for any services.
API is a beneficial technology; if you want your business to succeed, you need to use it. Such a solution will allow you to simplify the work with your resource as much as possible, make it more convenient for use on different devices, and much more. In general, finding a site that does not use the API in its work is challenging, and your platform will not be an exception. Otherwise, you cannot create worthy competition.