An API broadly refers to a set of commands and functions that become instrumental in Software Development. It is a shorthand for Application Programming Interface. It allows developers to use previously existing public codes to power their applications, then starting from scratch. Providing the digital foundations, access to APIs can facilitate the growth of any enterprise or start up. New businesses benefit the most from APIs as the use of pre-existing codes to power new projects ensure faster product delivery. Leveraging of APIs to augment business growth is not limited to technical startups but can be explored by almost all business domains.
The accessibility of APIs is vital to efficient resource and time management. In addition, it allows the developers to concentrate on developing their USP, than wasting time on developing the basic functionalities that are common to most applications. Creation of new APIs with similar capabilities that already flood the market will reduce the efficiency of the product. Such inefficiency may have a negative effect on the brand name and retard its potential growth. API fulfills the twin goals of increased efficiency on the one hand. On the other hand, it provides an opportunity for greater detailing. Therefore, businesses should leverage the existing APIs, wherever available, to augment their growth potential. Also read our blog and know more about App Store Optimization: How to increase your App visibility in the app store?
How APIs Work?
In the recent years, APIs have become the key to a successful business. APIs acts as a communication channel between different software and facilitates the transfer of data and technology. To put it simply, allows one application to use the technology and codes developed by another to power it’s own functioning. Developers can use pre-existing codes to write their applications, saving a huge chunk of time in creating basic codes. Using APIs that are already present allows businesses to focus more on the intricate details of their applications. Those businesses that rely on real time data are the greatest beneficiaries. They can completely center their energy on delivering end results without resource wastage on developing new APIs for data collection and processing. APIs can be accessed by new businesses through certain permissions from the API generators, which can be utilized to build subsequent functions.
APIs provide the entire world with an access to your technology and codes. Thus, one should ensure securing the API before making it public. Controlling who gets the access is vital. Accordingly, using keys or permission to regulate access to your API will ensure that only genuine traffic is welcome. Businesses that use pre-existing APIs tend to generate greater user value from their applications and thus, customer acquisition is faster. Basing their operations on pre-built APIs, allows businesses to experiment more with their application’s unique capabilities.
Value in a Public API
A Public API refers to making the API available for use by third parties. Public APIs entail the public sharing of one’s software solutions to benefit the community at large. At the first sight, this may appear to be counter-productive as it includes providing your codes to the entire world. Nevertheless, it is an impressive business proposition in the long- run. To begin with, sharing of APIs with other applications/ software that have similar functionalities will get the founder application a larger audience. Since the new applications will be premised upon your API, it will allow a greater viewership to your brand. As different applications use a particular API, trends about user demographics and audience analytics can be generated.
In addition to targeting a wider audience, public APIs is a useful platform for software innovation and future integrations. The former refers to providing developers with a basic API which becomes the foundation of subsequent applications. The new applications are technologically superior with greater functionalities to offer. Additionally, the sharing of APIs also promotes integration and new partnerships. Providing access to one’s API can become a means of integration with the new applications that can enhance customer offerings to both the partners.
Finally, the public sharing of an API gives the self- satisfaction of contributing to the API community. The joy of giving back to your alma- meter is huge. Furthermore, seeing new businesses spring up and achieve success using your API is an achievement in itself.
Why Leverage APIs?
- Building an application using a pre-existing API can arm your business with a number of benefits. In other words, the leveraging power of APIs, in today’s time, is exceptional. To start with, APIs that are already present provide businesses with the basic frameworks that are vital to a software, but new businesses do not have to produce them on their own. Therefore, APIs provide the building blocks to a software that are already present and only need unique functionalities for product development.
- Secondly, APIs are a third party production. Accordingly, a new business that utilizes them do not have to worry about their maintenance and updations. This reduces the responsibility of the latter to support the functionality of the API, thereby concentrating all resources on updating the unique features.
- Thirdly, APIs promote integration and interaction with other applications. Integrating with pre-existing applications by using their APIs can provide businesses with an access to their vast user base as well. Since applications built on similar APIs generally provide supplementary functionalities, customer acquisition also becomes easy for startups.
- Fourthly, using a well-formed API as the foundational base for new businesses can also become a sign of increased legitimacy in the market. Since the API has already been accepted by the consumers, applications built on such APIs are readily embraced. Applications built on a familiar API have a trust factor that increases their popularity.
To sum it up, APIs are here to stay. Whether a business makes its API public to benefit the larger community or a business leverages an API to power its application, APIs have become a means to greater efficiency.