If you have already gone through our introduction to the concept of API let’s move to the way they are working with information. Our short article will help you to understand this interaction.
API for handling data
When data is needed, let’s say some information about users or users who wants to modify them, from the frontend, those relevant data can be fetched or retrieved from the Backend with a request. Once the request is received by the backend, after successful verification, the data, user information in our case, requested will be sent to the frontend. Now users can do anything with the data as long the application allows the user to do so. All of these intermediate operations are done with API.
Now the catch is all of these operations will be performed if the API was built in such a way. When either program or programmers using one or part of the API, is known to call that part of the API, and that has its respective terms like subroutines, methods, requests (which we spoke about in our case), or endpoints. APIs are incredibly useful since most of the time, you are just exposing an endpoint, through which the API operations are carried out.
Think of an endpoint like your motherboard’s USB port. For the motherboard, that is an API exposed to you. You, as a frontend developer, connect the USB to the motherboard and use the cable for data transfer. This was just an example, technically USB port is not an API just like you are not a frontend developer, or are you?
API is widely used for web applications, hence, they are also known as web APIs. Communication is always made over the Internet connection. APIs are found in Software, software libraries, programming languages, operating systems, and hardware as well. The sole purpose of anybody who would ever write and implement an API is, that it simplifies a lot of the process of an application without the need for writing something on the go, whenever needed.
This process also abstracts a lot of the under-the-hood intricacies of an application. For instance, a web browser has its own API which can be used to directly communicate with the web browser for certain functionality or information, like if the user is active on the web or not. Web developers do not need to know or write such code from the ground up to use a such feature, which is readily available.
More on APIs
Fun fact, the term API goes way back to the 1940s when they were known as subroutines but made it to the public in the 1960s. the best thing about API is you write it once and it remains consistent over time. You can change the underlying details but the API typically remains in its place. Like a doorway.
There are different kinds of APIs out there as well as their usage. The most common usage of these APIs is in a Software library, frameworks like .NET, React, Django, jQuery, and so on. Others are used in Operating systems, Remote APIs, Web APIs, and so on.