In a nutshell, an API (Application Programming Interface) is a set of tools/functions/frameworks that allow external applications to access and control the features of an internal application (e.g. AWeber). APIs were initially developed for use within the computer and telecommunications industries, but have since found numerous uses within the digital marketing and web development communities.
Why Use An API in Your Business?
If you’re new to APIs, you might be wondering why you would need them in your business. After all, you’ve probably never worked with an API before, and your existing applications might already have the functionality you need.
Here’s why you might need to consider using APIs in your business.
- Access to massive amounts of data: Most APIs allow you to access data which might otherwise be impossible to obtain. Big data is no longer reserved for large enterprises; small businesses and startups can utilize APIs to gain competitive advantages.
- Leverage on the existing skills of your developers: If you have developers on your staff already, you might want to consider using their skillset to create something new and unique instead of outsourcing the project.
- Improve the functionality of your apps: What if I told you that you could take advantage of the vast features that an API provides and feed them into the apps you already have ? This is also known as the “API 2.0” approach, and it allows you to create new apps or modify existing ones with ease. The API developer community has made this possible through innovative functional programming language.
- Reduced development time: Having an API allows you to quickly develop new features and fix existing ones, because the majority of the heavy lifting is already completed. This cuts down on the amount of time it takes to develop new apps or features. Not to mention the amount of time you’ll save by not having to re-invent the wheel.
- Increased flexibility: APIs give you complete flexibility when it comes to the apps and features you can build with them. Not only that, but it also gives you the flexibility to change them and be updated with the latest news and trends without needing to rebuild everything from scratch.
- Scalability: APIs provide the ability to scale your functionality and apps easily. This makes it much easier to handle unexpected traffic spikes or surges, as well as give you the flexibility to quickly add additional features and scale with ease as your business grows.
- Cost-effective: APIs are usually much cheaper to use than traditional methods of development. This makes them a viable option for smaller businesses and startups, as well as those in developing countries. Not only that, but the various APIs available are also usually very cost-effective.
- Mobility: With the emergence of mobile apps, the need for mobility increased. APIs make it much easier to build and run mobile apps, as well as bring the functionality of your desktop apps to your fingertips on the go.
How Do I Create An API For My Business?
Before you begin building your API, it’s important to consider what you’re trying to accomplish. Do you just need a quick and easy way to pull in some data or do you need a fully functioning app that can perform complex tasks?
If you just need a quick and easy way to pull in some data, you might want to consider using an HTTP GET request or a simple POST request. An app that only performs simple tasks could be built using Node.js or Express.js.
If you need a fully functioning app that can perform complex tasks, you might want to consider creating one in a language such as PHP or Python, using a MVC (Model-View-Controller) or MVVM (Model-View-ViewModel) architecture.
Regardless of how your API was initially conceived, the developer community has made it possible to build anything from a simple get request to a full-blown business app using APIs. With the various APIs available, it’s easier than ever to build a fully functioning app. If you’re looking to cut costs and time, consider using an API.