API Full Form | What is an API – Types, Works, Example, How API Created

API Full Form

This article intends to impart complete information on API and API Full Form.

After going through this content, you will develop a better understanding of the full form and meaning of API. Also, explore the usage and working of API.

To provide in-depth and better information on the topic, we have included its types of API, examples of API, where it is used and how is API created.

Get along and widen your knowledge on the topic.

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What is the full form of the API?

API is used as an abbreviation for Application Programming Interface.

What is API?

The Application Programming Interface is a software intermediary that allows two applications to talk to each other.

API is a set of protocols, routines, and tools for building software and applications.

In other words, it is a set of functions and procedures. It allows the creation of applications that are used to access the features or data of an application, operating system, software, or other services.

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What are the types of API?

The main types of Application Programming Interface are as follows:-

Open APIs

Also known as public APIs, these are publicly available to the developers and other users with minimal restrictions.

The uses of an API key or OAuth may be completely open or may require registration. Moreover, it focuses on external users that access data or services.

Partner APIs

Exposed by or to the strategic business partners, Partner APIs are not available publicly and require specific entitlement for access.

These are usually exposed to a public API developer portal which the developers can access in a self-service model.

For partner API, there is an on-boarding process with a specific validation workflow to obtain access to it.

Composite APIs

Combining different data and services APIs, composite API is a task sequence that runs synchronously as a result of the execution.

There are completely useful in microservices architecture patterns where information from several services is required to perform a single task.

Internal APIs

Also known as private APIs, there are only exposed by the internal systems and hidden from the external users.

Designed for internal use within a company, these are not meant for consumption outside of the company.

An internal API developer portal connects to the internal IAM systems and authenticates the authorized users to access the right sets of API.

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How does an API work?

An Application Programming Interface works in the following manner:-

Human —– Application —– API —– Server

When a person uses his or her mobile phone to access an application, software or any other services, s/he instructs the application to perform certain functions.

When the application receives the instructions, API comes to play. It takes the instructions and delivers the information to the servers.

The servers then interpret and analyze the instructions. The servers interpret the data and perform the required functions.

Then it sends the data back to the application. Further, the application or software interprets the data and presents it before you in the desired format.

Here, the API serves as the messenger of information to the server you are seeking. It carries your instructions to the servers and you get the desired outcome.

What is an example of an API?

The concept of API can be better understood with the help of an example.

When you use an application or software on your mobile phone, the application is connected to the internet and sends data to the server.

Upon receiving the data, the server retrieves and interprets the data and performs necessary actions before sending it back to your phone.

Further, the application interprets the data and presents you with the information in a simple and readable way.

For example –

Suppose you are at a store with a list of items to order. The store is the part of the “system” that will get your order.

The missing link is the one that communicates your list to the store and you get your items.

Here, the sales representative or the API comes to play. The salesperson is the messenger or API.

He takes your order and communicates it to the workers and gets all your items from the store –“the system”– to you.

How is API created?

Building an API does not only involve programming a server. It has much more than that.

Primarily, the application domain semantics, API architectural style, and style guide are formalized.

Further, the API is carved out; its stubs are implemented and verified with everyone involved in the workflow.

Then, the serves are built according to the design. The API implementation is tested automatically against its design.

Moving on, when the API implementation is developed, tested, and deployed, it is delivered to the clients.

It can be shared with users by handing out the API description or with a customized and interactive document.

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