With technology evolving constantly and new software solutions being created, API driven technology enables your applications to offer more functionality without the headache of building new technology from the ground up. In other words, it enables you to leverage other solutions to enhance the functionality of your own technology.
What Does API Stand For?
API stands for Application Programming Interface.
What Is An API?
To put it simply, an API is a technology permitting two systems to communicate with each other directly, such as your technology communicating with Facebook or another platform. APIs interpret and break down data so it can deliver readable information between systems.
A Simple API Explanation
Okay, maybe that was a bit technical. Let me give you a more familiar view.
Imagine your customer is enjoying a cozy Sunday afternoon at your café. The barista and the kitchen crew are part of the “server system”, which is responsible for creating your customer’s order.
Now before your customer can truly enjoy her afternoon with a cup of coffee, the waiter needs to deliver the information to the barista or kitchen.
Much like the waiter in this example, the API is the one that connects the customer to the system.
The waiter (the API) sends the order to the barista or kitchen (the server system) and tells them exactly what the order is. Then the waiter delivers the order (the reply) back to the customer.
The waiters don’t have to explain to you how your coffee was made, they just simply deliver a cup of coffee to you. This is how APIs work, and in doing so they simplify the information you (as the customer) need to manage.