What I know now…
Application Programming Interface(API) is a messenger that takes a request and tells the system what to do.
Take for example skyscanner.com, an aggregator website. When you search for a ticket from NYC to LAX it searches all the websites and airlines for the best deals for me.
How is it able to do that? It found all these flights from the databases of other websites that have this information. Remember API’s allows strangers to speak to each other i..e. it allows computers to communicate. It is a contract provided by one piece of software to another piece of software, consisting of a structure request and a structure response.
Your browser console has a window object that has fetch which is an API. It is given by the browser to use so that the console can communicate with the browser and it can communicate with the machine.
API is waiter — waiter is the messenger that tells the kitchen what to do.
Back of TV
As with humans APIS also have an agreed-upon standard of communication. JSON is one of those standards.
Stripe API for payments
Twilio API— Sending of messages on phones
API keys are unique identifiers that allow the provider to know every time you access their API. this is useful for billing etc.
Representational State Transfer
An architectural style for designing networked applications that relies on a stateless, client-server protocol typically HTTP. Rest was designed to treat server objects as resources that can be created or destroyed. e.g. a blog post in a database. The great thing about this is its standardization which allows for it to be used by virtually any programming language.
API is the messenger and REST let’s us use HTTP to format those messages.
APIs require authentication to use their service. This can be free or paid