What’s an API? And Why Does It Matter? Dropbox Sign Blog Dropbox Sign

To use an API, businesses typically need to hire qualified software professionals to develop custom API integrations. If you have an upcoming software project, there’s little to no question that APIs and data integrations will play a role in development. Hopefully, these nine API examples engender a better understanding of how crucial APIs are in software development. It should be obvious now that APIs are in most, if not all technology humans use on a day-to-day basis. Many e-commerce platforms use microservices to encapsulate functionality into separate, independently deployable services. Whether you are a Senior Developer with extensive experience in development or just an active user of technologies, you may have been using this API example more often than you realize.

Why do developers use APIs

Companies such as Facebook, Google and Yahoo publish APIs to encourage third-party developers to build on their capabilities. These APIs have provided everything from new internet features that browse the sites of other services, to mobile device apps that offer easy access to web application resources. New features, such as content delivery, augmented reality and novel applications of wearable technology, are created in large part though these APIs. All software today is written using libraries, toolkits, frameworks and other application programming interfaces (APIs). API tools have fundamentally transformed how developers write applications. They have introduced an entirely new vertical of “platform as a service” software companies.

Why APIs are important for business

They allow developers to coordinate with stakeholders to update agency systems and therefore generate more potential. The client would have to include the correct HTTP verb (GET, POST, PUT, DELETE) in its request to tell the server what action to take. Chances are, the API you’re interacting with is a specific type of API that is considered easier to use than others. If your key leaks, a bad actor could make API requests on your behalf. You may be able to void your old key and get a new one if such a breach occurs.

Open Government datasets have been flooding the Web recently, and Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) are key to the development of services on top of these datasets. An issue of current APIs worldwide is that their learnability is limited. This work has explored the potential of querying APIs using natural language terms to mitigate that issue. A user study with 20 participants has demonstrated that a natural-language-based, along with an order-agnostic approach to API design can produce easily learnable APIs for both novice and experienced API users. These insights can pave the way for a paradigm change on Web-API design for open geodata retrieval and beyond.


When you’re designing new tools and products—or managing existing ones—APIs give you flexibility; simplify design, administration, and use; and provide opportunities for innovation. Microservices is an architectural style that divides an application into smaller, independent components (also called microservices), connected using REST APIs. Building an application as a collection of separate services enables developers to work on one What is API application component independent of the others, and makes applications easier to test, maintain, and scale. The average enterprise uses almost 1,200 cloud applications (link resides outside ibm.com), many of which are disconnected. APIs enable integration so that these platforms and apps can seamlessly communicate with one another. Through this integration, companies can automate workflows and improve workplace collaboration.

API integrations are the standard for connecting cloud apps these days. Circling back to Google Docs, this is how one would consolidate their documentation with apps like Google Sheets, Slack, Discord, GitHub, and dozens of other cloud applications. HubSpot, for instance, is a popular content optimization system (COS) combining the powers of a content management system (CMS) and a customer relationship management (CRM) tool.

Partner APIs are designed to be used externally like open APIs, but access is often limited to strategic business partners as a way to generate revenue for both parties. Partner APIs are often used similarly to how businesses use referral marketing or affiliate marketing. Open APIs are often referred to as public APIs or external APIs because they’re specifically designed for external use with few (if any) restrictions. While some open APIs are entirely free for the public to use (like Spotify’s API), some are also provided as a service/product you have to pay for. Some businesses even offer open APIs as a way to find new business opportunities or monetize their data.

Why do developers use APIs

With advances in digital pens, there has been recent interest in supporting augmented paper in both research and com- mercial applications. This paper introduces the iterative design of a toolkit for event-driven programming of aug- mented paper applications. No matter if it’s connecting marketing tools or automating daily processes, data integration is at the crux of it all. It’s likely that you’re more familiar with SaaS than you know. When it comes to software as a service, this includes any cloud-based application you’re using on the web.

  • And MuleSoft’s API manager can facilitate integration governance and API lifecycle management.
  • Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) continue to be a hot topic — and for good reason.
  • For example, Axway’s recent survey found 74% of Americans want healthcare providers to have the most up-to-date information about their personal health.
  • If you own a smartphone or use a software-as-a-service (SaaS) web app, there’s a good chance you’ve used one or more APIs today already.
  • Note how abstractions are evident at every “level” of the web application.

But no one outside the company can say exactly what they are. Speed is an integral part of improving apps, services, and development in general. This modernized way of eliciting functionality abstracts the relationship between code and the service it provides in an intuitive way. To that effect, the abstraction results in practical API integrations that are easier to implement than otherwise.

Why do developers use APIs

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