Web Design Basics: What is an API ?

Using API for improved Web Services

Website Design

Website Design Basics: What is an API?

API offers a way for creators of new technologies to share the working of their products so that other developers can add useful add-ons and develop the product further than an individual company could have in-house.

In a closed world scenario, a technology development company would need to create each aspect of their software from scratch. Allowing other businesses to develop your product benefits both parties.

Sharing your technology opens it out to a wider range of uses than originally intended and also provides an incentive for other businesses to invest in your product as they have developed their business model on top of it. Being able to use already developed services allows your business to spend time and resource purely in the additional development, bypassing the investment required in starting again with your own version of the same service.

Google Maps API

The Google Maps API allows users to embed a static version of their street view or google maps image onto any webpage. Users simply need to locate a url that provides information about the desired map and it will create the code for you to install on your website.

Twitter API

The Twitter API allows the developer to integrate Twitter with websites and Javascript to allow interactivity with the features that Twitter offer. The API allows you to add Embedded Tweets, Follow Button, Timelines and a Tweet button to improve your website integration with the Twitter Application.

Facebook API

Using the Facebook graph API developers can read or write data within Facebook. From the graph APi information is available about the social graph, objects (pages, people, events, photos) within the graph and how the individual objects are linked.

References:

https://gigaom.com/2010/10/29/using-apis-not-quite-as-hard-as-it-looks/

http://readwrite.com/2013/09/19/api-defined

http://www.w3schools.com/googleapi/

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