API Development – Needs, Tools, And Benefits
API, which stands for Application Programming Interface, is a set of instructions used to enable any software or app to employ features or services of another app to enhance services. This is how it allows apps to communicate with each other. It helps businesses to work smoothly without creating everything from scratch. Let’s take an example of the Facebook signup process. Whenever we sign up for a new account there is an option asking us to sign up with a Gmail account, which means Facebook is using Gmail API to access the data that you already have shared with Gmail such as Name, DOB, and other details. This fastens the process and lets us enjoy getting into the Facebooks online world without any hindrances – all thanks to API.
How does API Work?
API works as a mediator between the apps and offer the end service to each other without any interference from human. You can understand it as customer care that provides information to the customer without directly getting into the database of the company. It will not provide you with the whole structure of the database instead offers the required information. In the same way, that API works, it offers the demanded service rather than the whole database of the process about how that service has been generated.
You can see the real-life examples of API in the food delivery apps. As we know they provide delivery person’s live location, but that doesn’t mean they have their tracking system and launched a satellite to allow their customers to track the location of their delivery package instead they use Google Map API and offer this service to their customers. API is a potential source of revenue for most of the online businesses. Google Maps charges around $3000 for map loads up to 500,000 through API. So, businesses offer APIs to generate another source of revenue.
Why Do You Need API?
API is the key to the future of businesses, no one wants or can start from scratch so it is a better option to utilize the services offered by an already established structure. Businesses that want to offer live tracking service to their customers do not need to launch their own satellite or establish infrastructure instead they can simply utilize the Google Map API to start their service. For instance, on-demand taxi service businesses can take benefit of this without making any investment into establishing infrastructure they simply can use API for live tracking services. This is how API made businesses easy to work and scale with minimal investment.
API allows data sharing between companies and builds a real-time interaction system among them all. Also, when you make your services available to open for anyone, it makes it easier for businesses to collaborate with your business and brings you more opportunities to earn. API allows you to avoid creating a bulk system that is redundant while enabling other businesses (that are interested) to work with you and avail of your services.
API also helps in data management, not every company has enough resources to collect data to make data-driven decisions, here API can help. It assists businesses in collecting data without expending time and effort. Also, by letting businesses make their systems available for wider businesses, audiences, and third-party developers, businesses can grow exponentially. For example, eCommerce businesses can share access with other developers who working on the development of an e-commerce platform and can add value to your business by adding additional features to it. By doing so you can open new scaling opportunities for your business in the wider domain.
Popular API Tools
API testing tools are used to find and evaluate the quality of software performance. They help in earlier testing without waiting for the whole software to be completely built. There are several testing tools available but we have to choose them wisely after evaluating our basic API requirement, complexity, CI integration, interoperability, etc. All considerations help us find the best API testing tool that would work well with our project. Below listed are the most recommended and efficient tools in the market.
1. The Katalon Platform
A leading test automation software for API, The Katalon Platform is known for its efficiency. Apart from API, it is also used to test web, mobile, and Windows applications. Experts recommend this tool because of its easy-to-use UI and productivity-centric features. It supports REST, SOAP requests, and SSL client certificates. It uses data-driven testing methods to get better coverage and reliability. With centralized reports and activities across various tool stacks, it offers value for money. Users can also get free and flexible paid plans along with testing courses and tutorials on Katalon Academy.
This tool was originally developed as a Chrome browser plugin. Later, Postman developed into an on-premise solution for both Mac and Windows. It is one of the most popular API testing tools and comes with an easy-to-use REST client and a rich interface. Whether you want to conduct automated testing or go with an exploratory method, the Postman tool works well in both cases. You can use it on Mac, Linux, and Windows. Its monitoring feature makes the testing more efficient and result-oriented.
API Benefits for Businesses
API not only allows you to transform your all processes but also allows you to improve customer experience. There are several benefits of API let’s take of closer look at all of these.
1. Easy Integration
API offers high speed & performance while transferring data. For newer applications and businesses they are resilient and never affect the API integration. APIs are super easy to manage and set up using third-party application connectors. These connectors can be used without any disruption in the integrations they are using.
2. Quality Automation
With a variety of end-to-end automations API offers amazing quality. For instance, it can help in connecting any website with storage solutions and let that offer vide variety of content with a single integration.
For instance, Amazon S3 Integration can be connected with any of the applications, to retrieve files in Amazon’s cloud storage service. This API integration can allow users to store and serve large media files at the lowest cost possible and without any infrastructure building.
Another example is Google Drive API, through which any of the applications or websites can manage documents and files in Google Drive. It also allows several users to collaboratively edit and store documents and share them when necessary. Last but not the list is Dropbox API. It also enables users to sync, store, and share files in Dropbox. This service can be easily enabled by any business by using API integration. It lets users across the world (via the internet) access their data using various devices.
3. Reduced Human Error
API can potentially enable automated data exchange between two software and eliminate the need for manual data entry. This increases the consistency and accuracy of the data and reduces the room for human error. In case, if data transfer is prone to error then API can include built-in error handling and data validation mechanism. It allows the system to recheck and validate data or remove any error if found. It also can help find errors that require human assistance which decreases the error further.
In a nutshell, we can say that API development is a fundamental component of web and app development. It not only enhances automation, accuracy, and collaboration but also reduces human error and effort. Businesses can utilize APIs to streamline operations, reduce errors, and tap into additional revenue sources. Google-Map-like APIs are best for sharing real-time data that allow businesses to offer the best possible service to their customers. It empowers companies to scale and evolve with minimal investments.
Are you a business owner looking for API integration? Or want to build API for your own business to scale it at a wider level, if yes, feel free to contact our team of seasoned developers who can integrate APIs and take your business to new heights in the online domain. Feel free and contact us, we are eager to help you.