Every day it becomes more common to see the acronym “API” when you read about technology, applications, and digital marketing, so you probably have already heard about the term API. But, in simple words, what do we mean when we talk about Application Programming Interfaces? Well, APIs are a set of rules, commands, functions, specifications or protocols that applications can use to communicate with each other. They are extremely useful for simplifying the work of the programmer since they constitute predefined function codes for the interaction between programs, Internet platforms or operating systems so that computer scientists do not need to code from scratch.

Running API

Normally, the user cannot see the work of the running APIs, only the actions they perform. The APIs only show their face to the software. For example, the user observes that there is communication and interaction between applications such as Facebook and Pinterest, Candy Crush and Facebook, but does not know how it is executed.

As the interfaces progress, the APIs and the benefits they provide to their consumers (such as desktop, Web, mobile and server-side applications) are not very different from electrical outlets and the benefits they provide to their consumers (such as computers and appliances).

In such a wide-ranging concept, sometimes it can come to the confusion, which are concrete and real benefits of the API. In addition to calling APIs on a network, application developers can take advantage of the APIs offered by the local system or device on which their application is running. For example, applications can discover the current location of a smartphone by calling the API associated with the phone’s GPS receiver.

Browsers in Use

There is also an emerging class of APIs offered by modern web browsers, such as Chrome and Firefox, which are like the aforementioned standard electrical outlets – through all kinds of systems (desktops, tablets, smartphones, etc.), these browsers offer a standard way for browser-based applications to access the storage of the host device, the audio system, the cameras and much more. Through a network, the data source or the functionality that is called through an API could be an application server (a database server, for example), a translation service or even a refrigerator enabled for the net.

Maybe the most important benefit of API is time. In online business, time is an important part of the equation. It is incredible how easily the same ideas are reproduced and transformed into new applications and services. Being the first is not always a guarantee of success but it makes things much easier. In this context, time to market, or the time from when a service is conceived until it reaches the market in a tangible way, is an important factor in the equation.

Also, when you want to expand your business, the good thing about releasing an API is that anyone can innovate using your digital resources. With this, your partners can apply these resources in markets in which it has not even occurred to you.

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