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Importance of Web Services / API for your Business applications

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 widgets.

·         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!

Team Intellika

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