What is an web API?
API stands for Application Programming Interface. API is really some kind of interface which has a group of functions. These set of functions will allow programmers to access some specific features or the data of an application, operating system or other services..
Web API is an API as the name suggests, it is often accessed over the web using the HTTP protocol. It’s a framework that helps you to make and develop HTTP based RESTFUL services.
Why we use web APIs?
Web API works on HTTP. It can be called or consumed by any quite application like Mobile App, Desktop App, and Web Application etc. Thus, Developing Web API will offer you a broad range of the Interface application, which may consume your Web API and fetch information to show the users. Web API isn’t limiting you to stay with specific interface or technology so as to interact with users. There for web API is highly recommendable.
Technical Benefits of Web API
It includes no tedious configuration and very simple creation.
It becomes easy to test business logic using tools like advanced rest client or fiddler.
It’s a lightweight architecture and good for devices which have limited bandwidth like smart cell phones.
Development using Web API itself makes a separation from UI Development.
Business benefits of Web API
It is an open source.
It uses low bandwidth (XML or JSON data). If required we can also pass html content.
Centralization of business logic will minimize your efforts, making your work worthwhile. As a result, business information are often maintained with consistency.
Web API Controller pattern is almost like MVC Controller. Thus, it becomes easy to maintain and understand.
Examples for web APIs.
YouTube API’s: Google’s API allows developers integrate YouTube and functionality into websites or applications. YouTube APIs include the YouTube Data API, YouTube analytics API, YouTube live streaming API and others.
Twitter APIs: Twitter offers two APIs, the REST API allows developers to access core Twitter data and search API allows methods for developers to interact with twitter search and trends data.
The Flickr APIs: It’s used by developers to access the Flick photo sharing community data.
Limitations of Web APIs
Latency in request processing and bandwidth usage but that depends on network and the actions performing.
It is not a platform for continuous services.