In our everyday lives, we seemingly have a different program that performs different functions for us. We have Microsoft Word for writing and Gmail for emails, but how do we make different software applications communicate with each other.
First, why should we try to make applications communicate?
Applications generally serve one or few functions. For example, Microsoft Word can allow you to craft an essay or document in varying fonts, texts and formats. Besides that and the other tools that are incorporated, Microsoft Word can’t really do much. If Microsoft Word was unable to communicate with other programs, you wouldn’t be able to add hyperlinks, paste images from the internet or do anything you’d normally do with internet connection. This example illustrates just a little picture as to how life would be if applications could not communicate.
How can we make applications communicate?
Introducing Application Programming Interface, known as API for short. APIs are the backbone of the internet and it’s what allows to do the most basic things that we take for granted. Fundamentally, APIs are sets of rules that determine how applications talk to each other.
APIs have been around since the 1960s, but it’s importance has increased significantly as applications have become increasingly dependent on communicating with each other. Without APIs the most used applications today would be obsolete; for example, Uber cannot function unless it can access your location from your phone when you’re using the app. This communication between Uber and Apple to share your location is a necessity for the app to work.
APIs are used in business daily to improve some of the most important functions for businesses. Developers in your company can use APIs improve products, existing systems and operations. APIs can be used to evaluate website analytics, improve project management tools and improve SEO. By using APIs in your business, you’ll increase collaboration and connectivity, which ultimately leads to a better customer experience. To learn more about APIs and how they can be applied to your business, click here to talk to an API expert.