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API basics

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Learn about API basics in 2 minutes.

What is API

The API or Application Programming Interface is a set of rules and standards that allow software programs to interact with each other.

It acts as a middleman between two applications, allowing them to exchange data and information.

Benefits of using APs:

  • Ease of use: An API makes it easy for developers to access data and functionality from another application.
  • Data sharing: APIs allow different applications to share data with each other.
  • Increased security: By using an API, developers can keep their sensitive data by giving access to only small pieces of data.

Different types of APIs

  • REST APIs: One of the most common types of APIs. REST APIs use HTTP requests to GET, POST, PUT, and DELETE data.
  • SOAP APIs: Based on the Simple Object Access Protocol. They use XML-based messages.
  • GraphQL: Newer type of API that provides an alternative to REST and SOAP APIs.

Where APIs are Used?

  • They are used to request data from a server and display it on a client, such as a web browser.
  • APIs are most commonly used to fetch data from a server, such as weather data or stock prices.
  • APIs can also be used to update data on a server, such as updating the status on social media or adding items to a shopping cart.

Different categories of APIs:

  • Public APIs: These are open to the public and anyone can use them.
  • Private APIs: These are only available to select partners or developers.
  • Partner APIs: These are similar to private APIs, but are designed to be used by business partners of the company that owns the API.

HTTP methods for REST APIs

  • GET: Used to retrieve information about a resource.
  • POST: Used to create new resources.
  • PUT: Used to update existing resources.
  • DELETE: Used to delete resources.

Free APIs for Testing:

  • Facebook Graph API: The Facebook Graph API allows developers to access data from Facebook.
  • Twitter REST API: The Twitter REST API provides access to tweets and other data from Twitter.
  • Google Maps API: The Google Maps API allows developers to access map data from Google Maps.

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