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A Complete Guide to API Development: Process, Tools and All You Need To Know

Mobile Application Development September 13, 2021
MA Complete Guide to API Development: Process, Tools and All You Need To Know
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If you are a business owner trying to communicate with developers to develop your business app, you must have learned about APIs a lot of time. Although you may have a hazy idea about API, you would not be clear about its working. If you are including API development in your business app, you must know everything about it. Not only about its working, but you should also be clear about the development process and the must-have features in API development.

But no more hazy definition about API; it is because; this post will offer you a complete guide on API development software. It includes detailed definition, working, and terminology included in the API Development. Let’s get started with the definition of API.

API Definition- All You Need to Know

The term that you hear API is an abbreviation that actually means Application programming interface. Like any other program, this interface also works with a set of instructions to deliver the requirements of end-users. However, the functions of API are not similar to any other interface. In other interfaces, you will find the interface making communication possible between the end-user and the system. The OS is an interface that makes communication between user and hardware.

But on the other hand, the API is an interface that enables the communication between two sorts of software. In simple terms, you can say APIs act as a communicating bridge that draws features from other apps to deliver the end-user’s needs.

Now, let’s draw the definition with an example. When you use any gaming app or any flight booking app, the app asks you to log in or sign up to the app to use it. Besides the signup options, now the applications are also offering another option to you. It is the log-in with Facebook or Google options. 

When you click on it, you do not need to enter your Facebook or Google credentials. Instead, the API here connects to Facebook and pulls out the information needed. You can now seamlessly enjoy the feature of any app without wasting your time in the long registration and signup process.

As discussed earlier, the API here acts as a communicating path that connects two software interfaces to utilize the features and enhance the services for the end-user. Thus, if you consider making a business app, API is a must-have technology that you should include in your app development. 

Before moving on to the API development and other details, here are some common terminology that you will hear in your API development.

Key Terminology in the API Development

API Key

The API, to identify the requester, makes a demand employing the parameter or header. Along with this request, the API passes a unique certified code. This code is the API key.

Endpoint

When your API communicates with any other software or system, then the finish of the communication mode is known as the endpoint.

JSON

JSON is the abbreviation for JavaScript object nation. This is usually the data format that API employs to request a header.

GET

When the Restful APIs acquire the resources using the HTTPS approach, GET is known as GET.

POST

POST is a common term that you will hear in your Rest API development. When the Restful APIs utilize the HTTPS approach to create any resources, you term it as POST.

OAuth

OAuth in the API development means rendering users’ data in the API framework without any need for credentials. It is also known as the open standard authorization framework. 

REST

The REST is an abbreviation for representational state transfer. This is a sort of API programming framework designed for more efficiency during the communication of devices/systems. The idea of coming with this framework was to bring a lighter approach to the connection that doesn’t consume much time. 

The idea of the programming framework includes sharing data references instead of sharing a complete copy of the data. This data is also getting shared only when needed. All the systems that come with this type of framework and ideology are Restful Systems. The biggest example of a Restful system is the World Wide Web/ www.

SOAP

No, it’s not what you are thinking about! SOAP is the Simple Object Access Protocol. This is a messaging code of behavior that shares information in the structure. This information then gets executed in web services of computer networks. The Soap works by teaming up with all the XML data. It also includes an application encrusted code of behaviors, for example, HTTP.

Latency 

Latency in API is the total duration that API consumes in processing a request. Or you can also term it as the response time.

Rate-limiting

The rate-limiting is an approach to explain the pace at which the end-users can access the APIs. In simplistic terms, you can say that it limits the total number of requests that any end-user can create in an API time.

API Throttling

Throttling in API means controlling the employment of APIs by the end-users in a certain period. 

Working of API

Now comes the most vital thing to learn about API. If you integrate the APIs into your business app, you should be clear about how it works. Here is a small sample that will explain how the API works to break down the working of API. 

For example, you want to charge your smartphone for its low battery. Now, what will you do? You will connect the smartphone to the adapter that will again get connected to the electrical outlet, or what you also term as the power boards. After that, your phone gets charged with the power coming from the power supplier.

This is how exactly an API works. Here your smartphone is the end-user that wants to gain electricity. But it needs the adapter to connect to the power outlet. Here the adapter plays the role of developers who build apps to access data via APIs. Now after connecting to the adapter also, the smartphone needed a power outlet board to access power. Similarly, the APIs here are the power outlet board that will help the end-users gain the database data. 

In simple words, you can say that when end users request any data, the developers facilitate the data by making apps that connect to APIs. The APIs here act as your power outlet board that helps you access data by communicating with the database system.

The most common APIs that you will find are Restful APIs. This is because they are lighter. They take less time to process the request, and most essentially, they share the data reference when needed instead of sharing the full copy.

Also Read: Why Python is the future of web application development?

What are the Inevitable Tools that You Require for API Development?

You can find an extensive range of tools that may help you create an API. But you would not get an efficient API. Here is the list of some great tools.

Apigee

This is a tool that comes from Google. This framework helps developers worldwide to create API. The most striking characteristic of this app is it helps business owners to achieve a digital change by reconstructing the API process.

APIMatic and API Transformer

This is one of the most advanced tools to develop API. It comes with many preeminent automatic tools that enable the developers to create top-quality SDKs. You can create SDKs in the API-specific framework and then change them into any specific formation.

API Science 

This is another exceptional tool that comes on the list. It is one of those tools that enables the developers to measure the performance of the external and internal APIs.

AuthO

This is another must-have tool in the development process of APIs. It is because; this tool helps the developers to validate and authorize the APIs.

API Serverless Architecture 

This tool helps mobile app designers design, build and launch apps with API hosting. The tool uses the cloud-based server framework to help a developer use the API hosting.

API Platform

This is a free PHP framework that enables the developers to go for web API Development.

ClearBlade

This is another advanced tool that allows developers to integrate IoT technology into API development.

GitHub

GitHub is a free hosting service that allows you and API developers to maintain the code files efficiently. Not only this, but this tool also aids in pulling the requests, offering your version regulation, and state the ones that get dispersed in the group. 

Postman

It is the last tool on the list. However, it comes up with many features. This API tool aids the developers in running a test on their APIs, evaluating them, and documenting their performances. 

These were some of the inevitable tools that you can find in the API development process. Although, it would be partisanship to say that these are the only tools. There are many other tools you may find. But the real problem is some of them make development seamless while some may make your development a nightmare. Thus, you should always choose the right API tool in your development process.

Indispensable Features that Come With an Exceptional API

API comes with a lot of features. However, some features are hard to ignore. It is like you cannot ignore these features if you want to develop an efficient API.

The search by category option

This feature in the API enables the end-users to search and find information based on the distinct category that includes a date. This is a much-needed feature because it allows update, modification, and deletion that you consider during the primary data sync.

Paging

The next feature that you need to include in your API is the paging feature. There are several instances when the end-users do not want to witness the complete data modification. Instead, they want only a part of it. In such cases, you need the paging feature. The paging feature decides how much data should get displayed on one page and at what rate it should get displayed. The end-users with this feature also can know the number of pages in data accumulation.

Sorting

Sorting is another great feature that helps end users a lot. This feature in API enables the end-users to gain all pages of data one after the other. However, the data displayed to the end-users come sorted as per the modification time.

JSON Support

Although it is not obligatory, you should consider the API development to offer JSON support to come as Restful. This makes your API effective and makes it a lightweight API as well. Besides, the best part about the JSON syntax is that it is quite similar to all other programming languages that help developers easily deploy the same in your APIs.

Approval with OAuth

This is again another exceptional and much-needed feature in your API development. The API approval with OAuth is most needed as it is a much seamless and faster approach. You can get authorization with just one click.

The Best Practices for Creating a Precise and Efficient API

Creating an API may have many approaches. Your API Development Company may offer you any method of creating an API. But you will always need to ensure that they follow the best practices that will help you achieve the best API ever.

Use Throttling

The throttling of the app that you make is the best thing to contemplate while your API development. This will enable you to protect your API from denial of service. This is because using throttling will enable your API to redirect the excessive traffic and safeguard your API by backing it up.

Contemplate your API Entrance as an Enforcer

The next thing you need to consider in your API development is making your API entrance a compulsory enforcement spot. This is usually achieved while setting up the throttle regulations. When creating the AOI keys, API gateway, or the OAuth, you should make sure that you are making your entry point a mandatory enforcement checkpoint. This is like making your API entry as a cop that offers access to data to the right users only.

You should make your API in such a way that enables you to edit all the private data, analyze them and find out how the API will use it.

Enabling the Overriding of the HTTP Approach 

Some proxies employ only the POST or the GET approach. However, if you are Developing API, you need to make sure you are letting your Restful API override the HTTPS approach. If you want to achieve the same, you need to utilize the custom HTTP header or the X-HTTP approach of override.

Calculate and Map the APIs and the Framework

The next best practices that you need to include are the real-time evaluation of the API. This is because, at the time, you can find many problems in your APIs that include memory failure and leakage, CPU draining, and many more. If you want to save your API from getting into any situation, you need to evaluate your API in real-time. Numerous tools allow you to map and check your API. One such great tool that you can employ is the AWS cloud watch.

Documentation

This may be the last thing to consider, but you should always make sure that you document your API process and work. You should make a completely transparent and easy-to-understand document about the structure of the API. This will help the mobile app creators find out the data about the complete API development process and then implement it to deliver a better user experience. In simple words, you can say that if you make a clear and simple API document, you will reduce the project’s cost and achieve efficiency.

Now that you have gained all the data about the API Development, you can now make your development via API development services procedure seamless by considering what attributes to consider in the development. However, if you still have some uncertainties, here are some FAQs to help you the best.

Conclusion

Keeping it brief, this is all you need to know about API development. Now that you are clear about the development, you should also ensure best practices to offer maximum efficiency to the end-users. If you have any more recommendations, leave your comment below.


FAQs

1. What can I understand from the Restful API and Soap API?

Restful API is an exclusive set of programs that get employed in creating web services. These structures are more efficient and offer better outcomes. The World Wide Web is an example of Restful API. On the other hand, SOAP is adding layers or standards to API to make it complex. 

2. What are the types of APIs?

The types of the API include:

  • Web socket
  • Library based
  • Object remoting
  • Class-oriented
  • Web service 
  • And hardware APIs
3. What is JSON API?

JSON API refers to the employment of an encoding scheme that eliminates the necessity of HOC programs. Every app won’t need HOC code to communicate in a certain way.

Vihar Rana

Project Manager

Working as a project manager in 360 Degree Technosoft since its inception. Loves to learn new technology, train the team with the latest technology advancement, develop mobile apps, and share the knowledge. I love to write on Android and iOS updates, a guide to developing apps, recent designing trends, and such subjects.

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