An Application Programming Interface, or API, is a set of functions that permit applications to access data and connect to external software, operating systems, or microservices. Simply put, this allows a user to send a request to a system and the system to respond to the user. A common example of an API at work is making an online purchase. When you click on “add to cart,” an API management platform lets the site know you want to add a product, and the site, in turn, adds the product and updates your cart. Keep reading to learn about the 6 key use cases for API management platforms.
Internal APIs connect to data and backend resources to integrate with or develop applications. Businesses can use an API manager to integrate with back-end and legacy systems, modernizing infrastructure for great agility, and application development using microservices and event-driven API management tools.
Public APIs, also known as open APIs, make internal data and functionality outward-facing and accessible to external developers. This is known as API integration, and it allows you to write code that interacts with pre-existing code written by another developer or vendor. This API program allows businesses to embed services, expand sales channels, and expand partner networks.
Partner APIs are created internally to be shared with strategic business partners who could profit from collaboration. In exchange for access to a partner API program, you might offer partners access to certain functions and data sources. Partner APIs allow businesses to reduce the time and cost of partner onboarding, customize information exchanges, and simplify operations.
A web service is a type of Public API program that meets a set of formatting specifications, such as being specified in Web Services Description Language instead of XML. Web services are used in service-oriented architecture (SOA) to allow different services to communicate.
APIs are everywhere in software applications. They are useful as abstraction layers that simplify complicated actions. An abstraction API program takes large amounts of complex data and defines a simple set of interactions that save you the time and effort of doing it. Software projects use hundreds of this type of API program, each of which relies on other similar ones to function.
One of the most common uses of APIs is in e-commerce. They help users manage their online businesses and reliably connect with customers. There are several types of e-commerce API management solutions, including product information APIs, site search APIs, payment APIs, shipping APIs, and currency conversion APIs.
API management is essential to the business strategy of any digital business. Managing application programming interfaces allows businesses and web developers that use or build APIs to perform full life cycle API management. The right API management platform drives business goals by streamlining and simplifying connecting with both internal and external developers.
API management software helps with business scalability, provides security, and supports a positive developer experience through interactive API documentation. API management capabilities include API creation, API portal, API Gateway, API Analytics, and visibility.
Enterprises use APIs for application development and integration by connecting internal agility with standardized services, channel expansion with new distribution, and cloud applications with microservices and gateways. Digital business platforms rely on APIs to connect open innovation with partner collaboration, API integration with SaaS, and new business models with adopting a digital platform.
API programmers aren’t the only ones who can use and understand API products. More and more, API providers are focusing on non-developer API usage because anyone who can use a web page can use APIs. Businesses can use APIs to access different data sources, simplify application development, and re-use services.
These are the six key use cases of APIs. New business models are being built with the digital economy in mind. Now is a great time to shift to a digital platform and unlock the benefits of APIs.