API is an abbreviation for Application Programming Interface. In essence, this is a software intermediary allowing two apps to work together. Each and every time you are using an application similar to Facebook, check the weather on your smartphone or sending instant messages and the likes, APIs are set in place.
What’s an API?
When you are using an app on your smartphone, the app is establishing connection to the internet and sending data to the server. What the server will do is retrieve that information and interpret it and perform necessary actions. Afterwards, it is going to send it back to your device. The application will be interpreting the data and present it to your smartphone in a readable and understandable way. This is exactly what API does and it all takes place in its interface.
So try to think of this, you are sitting at a restaurant and looking at its menu on what to order. The kitchen is part of the whole system that will be preparing whatever you order. What’s missing is the link to transmit your order to the kitchen and then, deliver the food back to you. In this case, the waiter or the API will kick in. The waiter serves as the messenger or the API will be taking your order or requests and inform the kitchen. Then after, the waiter will be delivering the response to you and in such case, it’s your order.
API in Real Life
You might be aware with the procedure when searching flights over the internet. You are given with plenty of options including departure as well as return dates, different cities and the likes. Say that you are booking a flight on a particular airline site. You pick a departure date and city, return date and city, cabin class and several other variables.
To be able to book a flight, you are interacting with the website of the airline to have accessibility to their database and see if there are any available seats on the given dates and to what the costs may be. Another example is, if you are trying to find my favorite crossbow article on a website, the interaction between your phone and the article’s domain name is sending data back and forth