Have you wondered about how different applications integrate with each other? APIs or Application Programming Interface is all you need to ensure that two different computer programs can communicate seamlessly. With more than 90% of the developers already using APIs, it is easy to simplify the programming by exposing limited actions and underlying implementation guidelines.
Let us go through all about API and its key examples. We’ll cover with a brief explanation of API followed by the common API examples used in our daily lives. It is easy to understand the top reasons developers are investing in APIs and their key advantages. Let us start with the quick details about APIs.
What Exactly Is an API?
API or Application Programming Interface is the dedicated software-to-software interface. It allows businesses to secure and standardize the applications for seamless working and delivering required information or features. Further, the digital experiences remain virtually effortless as APIs operate in the system background only. APIs are protocols and definitions offering different software components to interact with other parts with a simple yet effective set of commands.
APIs are widely used for internal systems, embedded content, app integrations, data sharing, etc. The entire API world can be categorized into different sections based on its scope and audience. The four main types of available APIs include composite APIs, open APIs, partner APIs, and private APIs.
Popular Examples of APIs in Use Today
With more than 24,000 APIs on ProgrammableWeb, it becomes difficult to go through them individually. However, it is easy to go through some of the common API example types, including:
1. Databases APIs
These APIs allow the users to request data from databases like Hadoop, NoSQL, SQL, etc., using unified queries. The database API assesses the user request, which sends a message to the database server using browser API. The message is sent to the database API, which converts the data into an HTTP response and shares it to be shown on the browser.
Examples Of Databases API
SWAPI or Star Wars API offers massive Star Wars universe information. It offers information like important events, different planets, species, etc., of the Star Wars canon. GeoNames API offers geographical location details. It offers information like postal codes, weather patterns, etc., of global locations. Spoonacular API offers different food information to users. It offers new recipes, safe food for people with different allergies, nutritional food information, etc.
2. Operating Systems APIs
These APIs determine any operating system’s use of resources and services. Businesses can design software development kits (SDK) with different developer tools and APIs in the operating system. SDKs can create apps compatible with a specific operating system. Adding a photo from any device to the social networking channel is easy. The device’s operating system API allows the social networking channel to request access to the saved pictures and verify them.
Examples of operating systems API
Android Studio allows Google’s Android platform app to be created using specific SDK tools. Windows SDK offers access to formatting tools and the newest developments offered by the company. Apple’s iOS SDK works with iPhone’s touch-screen technology and helps create highly optimized applications.
3. Remote APIs
These APIs use resources outside the devices or manipulate assets or information on any outside server. Hence, all web APIs are remote, while the remote APIs may not be web APIs. Remote APIs work by accessing the information database on the central server or computer in the network, like in the Local Area Network (LAN).
Examples of Remote APIs
REST Countries offer information about different countries globally. Orbit API has different sales and marketing tools and different resource teams to manage workflows and work remotely. Skyscanner API offers users important flight information to create different travel applications.
4. Web APIs
It offers seamless communication of search engines, applications, etc., with different remote servers using HTTP or structured requests using a programming language. The web APIs send the call to the server API and complete the function. These APIs can be used to offer new features to existing applications.
Examples of Web APIs
Kroger API offers information about grocery companies, including customer data, store locations, product offerings, etc. Etsy API offers different marketing tools, payment processing tools, etc., to create third-party applications. Product Hunt API offers the latest technology trends and new technology products.
5. Food Ordering APIs
These APIs can be delivery APIs or restaurant APIs. The delivery APIs link the food business to the different delivery partners located globally, while the restaurant APIs can add relevant restaurant and dining information to different applications. It is easy for food businesses to ensure real-time tracking and automated dispatch of food orders.
Examples of Food Ordering APIs
Untappd is the ideal API for beers. Food API is the leading database food grocery nutrition API for different restaurants. US Restaurant Menus is the leading food ordering API having more than 30 million individual menu items and 300 thousand restaurant menus.
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Examples of APIs Used in Our Daily Lives
It is not true if you think you’re far away from the APIs, as we all use different APIs in our daily lives. Some of the top APIs used daily include:
1. Social Media Bots
How much time do you spend on social media platforms like Twitter? All leading social media platforms use different bots which use social media APIs for different tasks. The social media bots leverage the social media APIs to integrate successfully into the social media platform’s internal software system. Some social media bots include generating great stories seamlessly, tagging bots under different threads, etc. It can wrap all text from different threads and present it as readable text.
2. Log-In Using XYZ
Have you seen these options on online platforms like “Log-in using Google” or “Log-in using Facebook?” These options allow users to log in to the online services without opening a separate account on the platform. APIs are used to connect the different platforms while logging- in using different accounts. The addition of login details on different online platforms must integrate well with the XYZ platforms.
3. Weather Snippets
Do you see weather data on your smartphones? Weather data is one of the common forms of APIs. These weather snippets are on different platforms like smart home devices, Apple’s Weather app, Google Search, etc. The search results in the weather snippets yield current weather conditions and forecasts. This information is sourced from the third-party application by the different platforms. These third parties share the latest weather details, which are easy to reformat according to the platform. Different weather APIs cover weather snippets.
4. Pay with PayPal
How soon do you pay with PayPal monthly? PayPal is one of the widely used examples of APIs which allows users to connect personal financial information to their PayPal accounts. It is a leading fintech service which offers easy and secure money transfers while staying embedded in different websites requiring online transactions. These websites don’t have direct access to bank or card information which is ensured with the dedicated API integrations only.
5. Google Maps
Who doesn’t use Google Maps? The Google Maps API allows several geographic aptitudes to users within seconds. It is easy to locate places like relative distance from the current location, reviews, business hours, contact information, restaurants, etc. Google Maps application leads to the goes to the Google Maps website to offer quick information.
6. Travel Booking
It is another leading API that helps businesses create connections and relationships with different travel websites. It is easy for businesses to share different travel packages for travel and lodging services. All this information exchange is possible with the leading travel APIs only. This dedicated use of the application programming interfaces is leading the way for multidisciplinary business benefits.
Who doesn’t order through the leading online platforms these days? APIs are widely used in the leading e-commerce platforms to ensure security, speed, and scalable operations. All the key functions of e-commerce, like site search, currency conversion, etc., require dedicated APIs for seamless operations. Further, the different microservices which offer independently deployable services, encapsulation of different functionalities into one, etc., come as a single application through APIs only.
Okta API is widely used to manage data security in the cloud network. It has a cloud-based identity authentication system which offers multi-factor authentication (MFA). It can be customized to give personalized access to different employees based on the allowed access. With the increase in the work-from-home culture, Okta API is in great demand globally. It allows businesses to analyze, manage, and chur through different data details.
9. Financial Apps
All the finance management through different financial apps is ensured using internal APIs. It is easy for the customers to check account details, credit cards, CDs, etc. Further, the different banking departments sync with the financial app APIs.
10. Streaming Services
Who doesn’t use the leading streaming services, like Netflix, Spotify, etc., these days? All these platforms stream the content to different devices like smart TV, iPad, or Windows PC using APIs only. These APIs ensure that the content from different streaming services is compatible with the different devices.
11. Amazon- Alexa
If you’re asked for the leading voice assistant, it is hard to miss Amazon- Alexa. It uses leading APIs, including Smart Home Skills API, Reminders API, etc., for third-party development. These APIs allow users to host reminders and manage smart home services with voice commands only.
Last but not least is the leading virtual office, Slack aims to bring communication, discussion, and collaboration to the new normal remote working. The leading API of Slack called Midas Touch gets quickly integrated into Google Slides, Looker, Salesforce, etc. Slack can be used inside and outside the traditional office settings. Businesses are using Slack to reduce time wastage and embarrassing error-rich presentations. It offers dedicated cloud automation solutions to different businesses.
Why Should You Use APIs?
It is easy to understand that APIs can allow different computer programs to share or request features, services, and other content. Suppose you think that why different businesses are using APIs comes down to the range of benefits of APIs to consumers and providers. The API consumers can request access to different server resources or automate different tasks internally.
The key advantages of APIs to consumers include improved operations, increased innovation, and improved customer satisfaction. Coming to the API providers, it is easy to unlock business opportunities and increase business revenue. The scalability offered by API services is immense and hence offers a win-win situation for consumers and providers.
What Are the Benefits of APIs?
Whether you’re using customized APIs for task automation or requesting access to different server resources using APIs, it has several benefits. Some of the key advantages of APIs for different customers include:
APIs can be used internally to boost business productivity. Some of these benefits include transparency strengthening, quick collaboration, and operations streamlining. Many leading companies like Amazon have made it compulsory for employees to communicate through APIs only. It allows businesses to exchange data and capabilities using well-managed and consistent ways throughout the business premises.
Hence, many businesses can go for building in-house APIs for quick communication to streamline business operations and improve business productivity. Further, APIs reduce the data amalgamation from different data sources. APIs ensure that no important information remains overlooked and implements 100% visibility.
b. User Satisfaction
APIs are the harbinger of ultimate user satisfaction. It works simply by overcoming the chances of needs satisfaction from a single source only. APIs bring quick integration to different sources and hence ensure that customers can get the best of the extended functionalities of services. For example, the leading restaurants are using APIs for integrating maps to ensure that customers can quickly find the restaurant location.
Hence, users don’t have to worry about finding the restaurant location and feel satisfied with these additional services. The highly personalized experience further ensures that users can get highly accurate data with the highest value.
The internal APIs or the third-party APIs allow the developers to reuse the software parts and develop solutions based on repetitive work. APIs can help businesses improve their service features and user experience. The single API gateway can create a win-win situation for different businesses and customers. With the quick address of features and user experience, it is easy for the teams to focus on the key pain points and expand their services according to the competition.
Hence, third-party APIs can allow businesses to enter new markets by sharing ideas and leveraging inputs from different parties. Further, innovation is powered by improved efficiency and increased business value.
With the API management market valued at 5.1 billion USD by the end of 2023, it is easy to understand the fascinating world of APIs. Starting with the main motive of connecting two different programs, APIs have come a long way in their applications in modern everyday lives. Hence, it is easy to understand the different examples of APIs with key details.
It becomes easy to understand the main reasons that developers trust these programming interfaces based on the different advantages. Thus, APIs are necessary for any software to ensure that it can be integrated quickly into modern technologies for a seamless user experience.