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The Rise of API for Commerce

Tarun Upadhyay Tarun Upadhyay June 10, 2020
The Rise of API Development for Commerce

In an era of interconnected devices and automation, any brand that wants to hop on to the digital transformation trend knows how powerful APIs are. Called the "Superheroes of Mobile Apps," APIs are behind the seamless designs and reliable functionality that we enjoy.

Over the last couple of years, API services have become increasingly popular, with 75 percent of organizations making it a top priority. Having access to quality APIs are as vital as ever, yet many are still unaware of how to use the tool for business properly.

What is API?

Application Programming Interface, or API, is an interface built for machine-to-machine conversations. In simpler terms, it is through API that different software programs communicate to create improved and more complex applications.

Any app that deals with data use API to share that information. The end goal is to make a user's mobile app experience as easy and convenient as possible without needing a developer.

To better illustrate how APIs work, here’s an API example: Consider entering into your online account on Pinterest. On the signup page, you’re given the option to Log in using Facebook or Google. This is API at work. Instead of asking for your account details, applications like Pinterest use API to access identification information to verify the user without asking for login details.

What is API development, and why is it important?

Today, very few mobile applications stand alone. Even competing brands partner up to share information to make their user interface (UI) more convenient for their users. If you're building your app, sooner or later, you'll create your own or get a third-party API to function efficiently.

For developers and companies in the tech industry, APIs are a way to expand their influence. While API is still a tool for development, it has become a separate product that promotes new partnerships, new revenue channels, and new opportunities for organizations. 

RESTful API development: The basics

You’ve probably heard of the term REST quite often during your time learning about APIs. Unlike the common misconception, REST is not a technology in itself. It’s a method of creating APIs that adhere to principles. Short for “Representational State Transfer,” REST is a series of guidelines and requirements for transmitting data. These are applicable for both web and mobile applications. 

When REST combined with API, we refer to it as RESTful APIs. Some of the standard and modern rules included in this framework are:

  1. Consistency must apply to the entire API
  2. Use HTTP status codes where appropriate.
  3. URL endpoints must follow a logical hierarchy

RESTful APIs are the UI for developers. The main goal of using REST is to make it easier for developers to build their API software.

API in the business world

In commerce, APIs are a vital tool for growth and revenue. These boost innovation by allowing more people to collaborate effortlessly. Similarly, APIs make monetization much easier through advertising opportunities and effective ad spaces.

Increased revenue, extended customer reach, supported sales, promoted innovation, and eased data integration are among the many benefits of API in the business world. Forward-thinking companies are accessing and building APIs to create the best of the best in the market – a more sustainable approach than traditional strategies that rely on heavy paperwork.

Tarun Upadhyay is an Asst. Technical Manager at Intelegencia. Loves playing outdoor games more than coding, like travelling in pleasant weather. And his house is a mini Jungle, as he enjoys gardening and growing more and more plants and trees.

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