API stands for application programming interface. API serves as a middleman between two or more pieces of software. Also, if the developer builds an app on top of the API, that app will have that API`s features. APIs became popular very fast, because of how much of the time and resource they can save. Do you like to have it all just one click away instead of coding for hours?
You probably understand now how APIs are making developers life simpler. One more thing you can use APIs for is communication between service. The best example of this is Google maps. Just imagine that Google maps don`t exist. Creating new maps for every application sounds horrible. Because it is an API, the consumer can access it on websites which implemented it.
Public and Private APIs
Today, when people are talking about APIs, they mostly talk about open/public ones. The public APIs, as their name suggest, are free for anyone to use and they are freely available on the internet. Some would think that they have more users than private APIs, however, that’s not really true.
More than 70% API calls in the world are made to private APIs.
The private APIs are used only by the company that developed them. Potentially they can become public. If you want to transform private API into the public, there is a process that you would need to complete. A majority of the most popular APIs today came through this transformation.
Different API Types
When we are talking about API types, numerous subcategories have popped up over the years but in general, there are four broader categories. And while there are some minor differences, like platform designs between the four, they are defined by the client/server connection they provide.
That sounds way more complicated than it actually is, so bear with us..
The separation of client from the server surely means that we can use a different back-end instead of the usual server. This way of using a server is called a fake API. From this point in the article, we will call those servers APIs. Each of them has different demands and behaves differently.
· Development API
The development API is a great choice for people who want get the endpoint development tested thoroughly before the launch. It doesn`t matter that there is no database and data behind it all. When it comes to a development API logic, it is not clear how much developers should allow it to imitate production API.
· Mock API
Of all the API have on the list, this one is possibly the simplest to understand and implement. A mock API is something like a test. The code will specify which methods of the mocked object will be called, and what will they return. That is pretty much it. Possibly the best aspect of mock APIs is that you can use them for various projects without making any changes to it.
· Production API
The production API is a crucial part of every application. This API is the server that transfers data from the database, updates it, and accomplishes the business logic and permissions. Those approvals could be related to seeing the data, updating it, and sharing it. If you want your app to be successful, your production API needs to be efficient and fast.
· Fuzzing API
The fuzzing API functions strangely at first sight. It will return the data that is pretty unexpected and inconsistent. The goal is to see how well the client will manage this situation. Surely, this API will do a much better job than a human doing this boring part of the job. The data returned will be in a format that is expected, but its data will be pretty random.
The Bottom Line
Since APIs became so popular in software development, different types and categories stepped into the light. The developers say that they need to be more practical when it comes to the future of technology. Naturally, all of categories and types are having their place in the world of APIs. We can surely say that their future looks very bright.
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