Definition of an API. What are APIs used for in computing?
Many sites tell you about their APIs, starting with stock exchange sites. In this case, it’s neither the single parent allowance nor significant one-time alcoholization.
Photo Christina Morillo de Pexels
It is simply an application programming interface. These interfaces are everywhere today, even though we often don’t see them. For a developer, APIs are now part of their daily life.
Facilitate application development
APIs, whether public or not, all exist for the same reason. They facilitate new developments by building on an existing application.
They can take different forms, from a web service that allows access to the functionalities of a site to a software library that allows the integration of a software in a new development.
The APIs all have the same purpose: they are there to provide developers with an interface to other program’s functionality.
It is no longer necessary to know the program you want to run at your fingertips, it is enough to know its API. They are often accompanied by precise documentation that saves a lot of time.
But the advantage is also present for the person providing the API. You can easily modify your program without making those who use its features malfunction.
As long as the functions offered by the API always return the same information, their processing can change without affecting the users of the API.
Google is a great API provider, which is one of the reasons why their applications are a must. Many developers have relied on their services, offered for free, to design their own.
So very often you will find sites or software (especially SaaS software), which use Google services on theirs; sometimes even without telling you.
The stock exchange likes APIs
The stock market, and more generally banks, have been using this type of functionality for a long time.
All exchanges between institutions function on this principle. Fortunately, not everyone can freely consult these interfaces. But more and more institutions offer their customers APIs that they can use more or less freely.
As is the case with the free api bag from ig.com. These APIs allow customers to automate their daily actions.
Either through specialized terminals that operate them for them or by writing their programs directly for those who have the skills to do so.
Imagine a program that regularly receives prices from the stock market and can, depending on your choices, take action directly. It is possible to design such a program.
Thanks to the APIs offered by these sites, you don’t need to know perfectly how their systems work, just know how to retrieve the data you want and return the orders.
You use it every day
Almost everyone uses APIs today. Not directly, but they are an integral part of many of the things you use. Most of them are web services. Our smartphones are the biggest consumers of APIs.
All these applications, which have become indispensable in our lives, use APIs.
A weather application, for example, does not calculate the weather for the next few days on its own. It simply depends on the API of its provider to show you the data. Your graphical interface and preferences are part of the application, but the data comes through this interface.
That’s why most of our applications can’t work without an Internet connection. Actually, they don’t do much on their own, they use very large APIs to provide you with the data you request in the easiest way possible. They just format it.
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