Dear readers and friends, are you all doing
well? We hope so. And yeah, we are well too. So, today let us take a look at
Web Services or API, and their importance for your business apps.
Readers do you know what an API is? Well, a
popular definition of an API (Application Program Interface)is that it “is a
set of routines and protocols that provide building blocks for computer
programmers and web developers to build software applications.”Earlier, APIs
were mostly associated with OS and desktop apps. However, for some time now it
has emerged as Web APIs i.e., Web Services.
The same source as above also defines Web
APIs as something that allows“developers to build web pages and web based
applications using data from multiple online sources.”Now, Web APIs available
for various industry domains, though you will find them used by mapping, social
networking, music, shopping, etc. industries mostly.
During the summer of the year 2005,
Programmable Web, which is now one of the largest API resources and directories,
then had no more than 32 APIs in their directory. However, it all changed by
2011. In March that year they proudly announced one of their major milestones -
their #3000 Web API had been included into their directory. Only 6 months down
the line, by October that year Programmable Web made another proud announcement
about the 4000 Web APIs they had managed to list. This is a brief history.
Coming to the importance of Web Services / API
for your Business applications, it is a fact that the largest user base of the
Web APIs belongs to the web development space. Yet, end
users can also benefit from them. Let’s take a look how:
APIs lets web developers integrate
functions and features of an advanced nature to be integrated into the apps
they create for your business. APIs allow a great deal of flexibility and
customization, as compared to the previously famous copy-past feature for
Thanks to the web developers, end
users can also reap the benefits of good Web APIs. These Services increase
the efficiency and usefulness of your app. But most importantly, it makes your
application extremely interactive and a lot more enjoyable. That is what the
user wants at the end of the day.
For API providers and creators,
a very well coded and designed API is the best marketing tool to garner more
attention from web developers locally and globally.
There is no doubt that APIs are important
even in apps. So here are a few things you might want to keep in mind.
The API you choose must be
lightweight. Mobile data is yet to reach the stability and gain the strength of
cable or fixed data. Hence, downloading your apps, upgrading them, etc. will
get painful for the user, and he might just opt out of your product.
Test your app loaded with the
API multiple times before adding it to any store. And consequently, continue
testing it even after its release. Your in-house tests will highlight bugs.
Your app’s API must be
expandable. Phones and tablets experience OS upgrades often. Which means, that
your app will need upgrades each time so that they can be compatible. So, if
the API cannot expand, that is bad news.
In conclusion, you now know what an API is,
who are benefited from these Web Services (web developers, end users, API
providers), and what to watch out for while building your app with integrated
APIs. However, if you have any further doubt, please leave it in the comment
section, and we will respond to it. Take care!