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API – What It Means and How It Works

API – What It Means and How It Works

APIIn this article, we are going to discuss what an API stands for and how it works.
So, what does API mean? API is an acronym that stands for application programming interface. APIs direct various components of software (or computer programs) and the routines, tools, and protocols that access other applications’ features and data. APIs are generally used for user interface infrastructure and front-end graphics.

In other words, it is the language that all programmers must utilize to properly talk to programs and communicate efficiently. APIs allow computers to “talk” to each other and pass along data or information to carry out connections. There are three main components of APIs and that is the user (individual making request), the client (computer sending request), and the server (computer responding to request). There are also various types of APIs, some of which are used every day. These APIs can be classified into 3 main sections – Ownership Web APIs, Communication Level APIs, and Web Service APIs.

Ownership Web APIs

According to, there are 4 commonly used Web APIs.

  • Composite APIs – Combine various service and data APIs, with the main purpose of enhancing performance and execution
  • Internal (or Private) APIs – Run on internal systems, generally for in-house/in-company use only, with the main purpose of enhancing services and products
  • Open APIs – Are available to the public with no restrictions, also referred to as Public APIs
  • Partner APIs – Generally not accessible without specific licenses or rights

Communication Level APIs

There are two types of Communication Level APIs. High-Level APIs are used by programmers for removing details or attributes to focus on the main elements to perform with limited functionality. The purpose of this is to simplify programs for certain users or provide limited access for safety protocol.

The other type is simply a Low-Level API which is more detailed than the High-Level, “which allows the programmer to manipulate functions within an application module or within hardware at a granular level. Usually, Low-level APIs are used in sending real-time video or media feed.

Web Service APIs

These APIs utilize web addresses or URLs to connect services to mobile, desktop, or other website applications. In other words, these APIs allow web services to be accessible by users on the internet. There are four subcategories that are broken down by behaviors and communication styles in the programming.

API Uses

Knowing what APIs are and what types or categories they fall into distinguishing everyday API uses. Some common things that utilize APIs are Email, Finance, Cloud, Sports, Music, Video Games, Mapping, Data, and virtually every company that utilizes a website. The following are various platforms that commonly use APIs.API

Without APIs, the platform would not have messaging, retweets, or a feed.APIs with the data they store and transfer, make almost all of our internet communications between each other, websites, and servers possible. GeoTel utilizes various advanced APIs for one of the largest telecommunications location-based databases. Be sure to fill out the form below and be the first to know of its new and advanced API releases.

Author: Valerie Stephen

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    Valerie Stephen