API is an abbreviation for Application Program Interface. It was introduced on February 7, 2000 by Salesforce.com at the IDG Demo 2000 conference but that time these were not publically available. It is a code that allows communication between two software programs. It delivers a request from the source to the destination and then brings back the response to the source.
Also, it transfers the data between the two systems. It is comprised of related elements. It can be viewed as a set of rules and tools which are used to design various softwares. It is used in procedural languages, object-oriented languages, frameworks, etc. The most common APIs are REST API and SOAP API. Though APIs are designed using a number of techniques, among them, one is done using information hiding by dividing the software into multiple modules wherein each has a unique interface.
A real-time example of an API is booking a flight.
- APIs are of great use because without writing the complete code themselves, they can add specifications to the application.
- APIs can be sued to access data from applications.
- APIs are useful for customizing and enhancing applications.
- These ensure high speed of functioning of the application
- Being a gateway, it is most vulnerable to be hacked.
- Once it is hacked, other applications in the system are automatically prone to threat.
- System can crash during the testing of an API
- Maintenance of an API is difficult
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