Worthwhile practices for integrating APIs
Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) have become quite critical to modern app development, as software developers are relying on them more than ever to raise a product’s functionality through third-party services. This approach is usually faster (almost) and much easier compared to the development of new functionalities from scratch.
In this article, experienced professionals from well-known Dallas mobile app development companies with years of experience will be recommending best practices for third-party API integrations when creating business apps.
What is an Application Programming Interface (API)?
An Application Programming Interface (API) is basically a software liaison combining two applications. It enables the application to communicate with other applications without the need to know how they are implemented.
APIs can be used to pull in data sources, management of complex tasks, or add features that are not in the application from other applications. The most commonly used forms of APIs are web APIs and web services.
An API Integration – What is it?
API integration is the method by which two or more applications connect to each other through their respective APIs. It makes use of the APIs to enable communication between two or more apps. These integrations are known to power many high-performance business processes keeping data in sync, improve productivity, and raise revenues.
Some common types of API integrations include:
- User accounts.
- Social logins.
- CRM Systems.
How do API integrations function?
An API integration consists of a set of API methods that enable CRUD (Create, Read, Update, Delete) operations. These CRUD operations contain the basic methods for accessing and managing data via RESTful APIs.
How come APIs are quite important for businesses?
Having a seamless API integration platform helps businesses leverage the working and functionality of existing applications with other applications and systems. For example, a company database can be shared among other internal systems without getting limited to a single team.
Moreover, APIs allow businesses to automate their systems and share data on a constant basis. Numerous organizations provide APIs to their customers and business partners for the sake of seamless communication between different teams.
To top all of these, APIs enable businesses to integrate existing applications like Eloqua, Salesforce, and Marketo into their systems to manage their lead routes effectively.
Different kinds of popular APIs available this year
Here are the four kinds of APIs available this year:
Public APIs (also known as open APIs)
These APIs are commonly available to all users and come with limited restrictions. While some open APIs need registration or using an API key or OAuth, some are completely open. They focus on external users who need to access data or related services.
These APIs are available only for strategic business partners. They require certain forms of authentication so they can be accessed as they are not publicly accessible. They are similar to open APIs because of their high visibility. Moreover, they are used for communication between organizations.
Private APIs (Internal APIs)
They are usually known as internal APIs and are invisible to external users. They can be discovered only by internal systems. They are not made for use outside of the company, as they exist to enable high productivity and service reuse among internal development teams.
There is a proper management system for revealing internal APIs to an API developer portal which then connects to internal IAM systems for authorizing users to access the needed APIs.
Composite APIs connect multiple data or service APIs. They help in enabling developers to access several endpoints (either different endpoints of one API or endpoints of multiple services/data sources) in a single call.
These APIs are useful in situations and instances like say, in a microservices architecture pattern where it is required to get information from several services in performing a single task. Professionals and their organizations can help reduce server load and enhance application performance by using composite APIs, as they can return all the required data in one call.
Best practices for integrating APIs
Integrating APIs is a process that should be conducted with careful consideration and precision. If the process goes awry, it can result in really bad performance of the app resulting in a poor user experience and the application going haywire. Here are some good practices for successful API integration:
- Reviewing all API documentation carefully.
- Selecting reliable and well-tested APIs.
- Auditing APIs for vulnerabilities in security.
- Ensuring APIs can scale with the business.