What is an API? Types of API and How does It Work?

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APIs are currently utilized for interaction not just between external systems or, for example, developing extensions/add-ons for any service/CMS, but also between big logical blocks within a single software environment. What exactly is the point of it? In specialist industries, this is necessary for quick performance scaling.

Each sample of a self-contained module may be executed within virtual containers using an API-based (API First) architecture (Kubernetes, Docker etc.). For subsequent maintenance, a container should be outsourced to the most appropriate server platform.

What is an API?

what is an api
Source: Cleveroad

API (acronym for Application Programming Interface) is a particular interface (a collection of commands/controls) developed for rapid interaction between different applications.

The applications may be created in any programming language, run locally or remotely, and reside on individual servers or in the cloud infrastructure. This is irrelevant. The important point is that API allows them to “understand” and communicate with one other: exchange data, send/receive execution directives, and so on.

A single communication format (protocol) should be agreed in advance to make the API clear for both parties. As a result, APIs are extensively described so that developers of other programs that are external to your interface may take your data format and demands into consideration when developing their product.

Type of API

Now that you know what an API is and what it does, it’s time to look at the many types of APIs accessible. While APIs perform comparable operations at their core, they might differ slightly in their implementation.


The acronym REST stands for Representational State Transfer and is also known as RESTful APIs. REST APIs have recently gained prominence as a component of Web Services.

Developers may use REST APIs to make requests and get replies using HTTP functions. REST is built on four main HTTP commands. GET, PUT, POST, and DELETE are examples. A REST API is used when you open Instagram and search for the latest and best meme of the day.


The acronym SOAP refers to the Simple Object Access Protocol. REST is an architectural approach, whereas SOAP is a standard-based protocol. SOAP is reliant on XML-based systems and programming, therefore its data tends to be bigger and more costly. Additionally, SOAP APIs give a better level of security. An application engaging with a financial institution is a popular use case.


Remote Procedure Call (RPC) stands for Remote Procedure Call. RPC APIs were the first APIs, and they were created to run a block of code on a separate server. It may become a Web API when used via HTTP.


Companies continue to see the potential of extending and integrating application data flows through APIs, which makes it easier to integrate business processes across applications when used with other types of B2B technology. This is because APIs improve speed, agility, consistency, and accuracy in many industries.

APIs are now an essential part of running a data-driven business. They let business users and IT use software and applications to improve productivity and the bottom line. Using APIs can pay off for an enterprise in many ways, from social collaboration tools to more creative ways to reach out to customers.

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