Types of APIs: What's the Difference? (Useful APIs) [2021]


Technically, we’re living in a world of advancements and have become habitual of utilizing one-stop solutions for every problem, whether it’s our business’s need or personal ease.

Still, many revolutions brought to us through technology are exceptional in their performance and management, proving themselves utterly mandatory for businesses to exist and advance in the online market.

Just take the example of an API. Since we know them, isn’t it interesting to explore how much security, performance rate, and conversions we’ve gained through APIs in educational, commercial, non-profitable sites, and financial portals?

These interfaces can connect one service to hundreds of external servers to provide a better user experience through enduring best features preferred by users. It simply turns ordinary websites into segment-rich stations. That’s why all B2B, B2D, and each business niche, including healthcare, IoT, logistics, finance, and manufacturing firms, have specifically designed APIs to make their customers satisfied and happy.

Let’s thoroughly analyze API, types of APIs, and its further involvement in the online market below:

What is an API?

An Application Programming Interface is a bridge component between two software datasets to add functionalities and features to websites and applications.

APIs are being used to drive multiple specific tasks, such as shipping, payment, chatting, customer support, etc.

Due to small code commands, APIs reduce developers’ efforts to repeatedly revise heavy code to sustain a particular function in software. They orientationally allow servers to understand a specific message and transfer the appropriate answer to end-users.

In simple terms: You’re using mobile apps where the messenger is the API that acts as a waiter in a restaurant - receives the request from a customer (you), and send it to the kitchen or system to make an appropriate dish (solution), that will eventually be delivered to you, again through waiter or API.

That’s how quickly APIs work and make it manageable for users to experience hundreds of features in a website at one time!

Why would we need an API?

APIs have always been a need felt by each business to process its interaction with users, who’re in millions and hold ratings for services. Your services if they are not ordinary or you owe an eCommerce platform to generate a satisfying living online, then customers reach you will be in considerably high numbers.

APIs will not disappoint you to make their shipping experience easy (by placing a shipping button at the top of the product page) and making their payment tunnel highly encrypted. With each customer, your interaction is developed. If you also want to know their intentions, you can create offers. APIs have significant categories to perform all of these tasks on your behalf.

So why are these worries handled all by own?

Let APIs be your best business partners, and one must integrate them to their blog sites to eCommerce international businesses’ infrastructure. This way, they’re all safe and responsive among online communities, finding them today!

Types of APIs: Explained

Based on the availability and features in an API, they are classified into four prominent types.

1. Private APIs

Private APIs are those interfaces that connect the backend of a privately held organization’s website or application to join all developers for accessing the same information provided to them. It only holds the information functional for many people who have access to work with this API. Hence, no public subscription is provided through these APIs, as they’re highly encrypted against anonymous logins.

2. Partner APIs

Partner APIs are intra-business interfaces that provide access to developers based on licenses and specific keys required to work with them. Like private APIs, they are also not available in public settings. Businesses develop partner chains within businesses using these APIs; hence it got its name under this perspective.

3. Public APIs

An open API, also known as public API, is an interface designed to get approached publicly by software developers. These APIs are distributed on the internet and administered independently (to a worldwide extent), enabling the possessor of a network-accessible service to deliver worldwide entrance to users.

4. Composite APIs

Among the different types of APIs, the composite APIs are interfaces’ tunnels where one API can carry multiple functions shared by a sequence of various APIs. So a developer has to build a single action gun with different tasks management, composite APIs are used.

Types of API Architecture

We know that APIs share different commands and protocols made of data to conduct tasks between two servers. These commands are called specific protocols and architectures of APIs, which form their operations individually. The detail of each protocol describes its peculiar characteristics and nature of work. Developers select these protocols when they are required to develop APIs, and hence different protocols make different features in a website.

1. Remote Procedure Call (RPC)

The remote procedure call (RPC) is a protocol that designs such commands specific to deliver calls and make requests to receive data from the server and aggregates capacity to execute processes and abilities. RPC can come in actionable commands involving JSON and XML languages.

2. Service Object Access Protocol (SOAP)

SOAP, aka Simple Object Access Protocol, is a website-specific architecture that World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) encourages to manage communication requests professionally. From HTTP, SMTP, and TCP, all communication commands on the internet are being overseen by XML.SOAP API.

3. Representational State Transfer (REST)

REST is the most popular and user-friendly protocol found among types of API architectures. It enables developers to customize API to convey more than a single call to conduct different functions individually.

4. GraphQL: (API for modern apps)

The protocol fastens the APIs to become accelerated in their request conduction way and not the servers, making mobile users connected to the app due to the flexible response of all features. This protocol could be added additionally with other API protocols to multiply the result conduction speed of APIs.

Benefits of Using an API?

APIs now are available with multiple adjustments to maintain website and applications’ engagement capacity constantly. Nobody can extract the conclusion if API integration has ever dug lose for their business, in any terms.

To let you examine how APIs are advantageous for businesses, we’ve listed some of their substantial benefits below:

Automation: APIs collectively transform a website interface that progressed automatically, including all customer calls, shipping protocols, and email notifications are in the hands of APIs.

Personalization: Through building specific features, such as showing the rider his location with the ride moving on tracks, it can be integrated with apps that add personalization tags in business profiles.

Authentication Presenting customers the exact result of their asked query can present businesses as highly authentic and out of confusion at interacting-point with users.

Encryption Shipping threats and payment hacks can be reduced and even eliminated with security-specific API login protocols, which perform the security guards’ role at online web entrances.

Responsiveness: Giving customers relevant data and offering new launches after getting their intentions can improve your business responsiveness, which is always a plus for flourish.

Innovation: With APIs, developers can update protocols after a duration to stay innovative and up-to-date.

How do they work?

APIs are considered as playing a middleman role in two-way communications on the internet. When a user approaches website services and wants to update the latest federal climate change policy on the official website. They will simply click on the option which makes a call and stimulates an API to ask the webserver to deliver that particular call’s result. After getting a message back on-page, the API delivers back the response.

In this communication, API connection with external web servers is made through special commands/protocols and architectures, we’ve explained above.

Examples of APIs

Some examples of API use in specific sectors of websites are listed below. All these types of APIs could be based on their usage direction.

Weather Snippets: They are considered the most popular APIs that Google uses to drive weather fluctuations and brief reports on current weather based on regional distances. A list of APIs can be categorized under this domain of functioning.

Finance APIs: These APIs are used for collecting financial information to make investment decisions accurate and completely investigational. All the necessary components required to search out better stocks and the financial status of companies will be conducted through them. For example, FMP comprises endpoints in dozens to thoroughly investigate a company’s financial position and give users data.

Twitter Bots: Many features are of Twitter bots that collect each activity parameter on users’ Twitter accounts and make it simple for Twitter users to collaborate with the community more quickly.

Communication level of APIs:

High-Level APIs:

High-level APIs got this title due to their simple pattern of integration and quick understandability (to drive features in websites more quickly) to developers. They sustain a mechanism of development that is manageable and come with advanced features in one package.

Low-Level APIs:

Low-level, in comparison, are those kinds of APIs with detailed infrastructure for integration and hold merely one to two features to add to a website.

API Testing tools

Postman

Postman comes as an application designed for API request testing. An HTTP consumer examines HTTP calls using a flow-chart user interface technique, through which we get distinct answers that require to be verified.

Ping API

It can be considered to direct when an API is under-performing or functioning roughly, manage the answer durations from multiple countries, or verify login progress. Developers can examine their APIs utilizing texts encoded in JavaScript or CoffeeScript.

vREST

This tool is specific to analyze the performance of REST APIs. It comes as a super convenient extension, which lists the HTTP calls of the web app following an inspection.