Advanced Programming Interface (API)Posted: January 24, 2012
Advanced Programming Interface (API) is a code provided by a webpage, blog or social media site to programmers for them to utilize the features a site. According to Techterms.com, API “allows programmers to use predefined functions to interact with the operating system, instead of writing them from scratch.” This open source code gives programmers, with the aid of software or other capabilities, the opportunity to further their experience. Sound’s difficult, huh? Between the technical language and computer programming terms it makes this concept seem complicated. However, the websites have done the groundwork and provided a foundation. API’s are available and can be utilized by all!
An article by Gareth Rushgrove in Digital Web Magazine provides a basis for how API, in simple terms, can be a benefit for individuals, programmers and the company itself. Rushgrove explains how a website gives its community an opportunity to enhance their experience, accessibility and usability of the site.
Programmable Web provides an API directory where it breaks down API’s by category, date and popularity. The directory provides programmers or individuals with tutorials, tips and a list of hundreds of API’s. Programmable Web is a good organized and comprehensive list of the capabilities of developed API’s.
API’s and Websites
Social Media websites also present API opportunities for programmers. Twitter, Facebook and Flickr are of the largest social media sites. Websites have a separate link for their API capabilities. API gives individuals a change to increase the experience with the website. Also, individuals creating an API will surely continue to access and utilize the website. However, it is important to also realize by using these codes provided by the websites there are policies, guidelines or rules to abide by.
Amazon allows users access to the “Product Advertising API” which gives individuals the programming capabilities to customize certain aspects of their product selling advertisement. So, whether you’re advertising for you
Twitter allows individuals the proper resources to create their own applications with an organized site. Dev.twitter.com/docs. Through this page, twitter provides support, policy information, tips to getting started and organizes how to utilize the proper code language to communication between other applications and twitter.
Flickr, a photo sharing community, provides codes for programmers to further the ability to share photos, galleries, etc. Programmers have many different options on how to utilize Flickr API’s through multiple resources.
Del.icio.us, provides a separate page, in which it releases all the codes organized with what the codes ready for the taking. This content ranges from updates, posts, to tagging and many more.
Programmers have even found ways to make money from API. By providing the code it’s then up to the programmers to let their creativity do the work. Ebay lists a developer page on how to make money creating API’s. These vary between marketing, commission and selling your services and apps. With all of the programming codes organized and available it’s up the individual to develop the creativity.
API’s and Data
API’s plays an important role in how data is utilized, because the language of the code can be written to utilize data from the websites providing the data. Info chimps, is a website that specializes on both data sets and data API’s. The site programmers have created API’s to generate the data from the sites the code came from. Using the source codes made available by websites for programming, API’s can become a good source of organizing and pulling together data.
The bottom line is you do not have to be a skilled and talented hacker to utilize API’s. Sure, it helps, but it is not necessary to enhance your web experience with the use of API’s. API is not a programming feature solely designed as a feature for only skilled programmers. Websites have provided the open source code and organized support, tips and tutorials on how to create API’s.
I think that API’s are a good way to allow individuals who are more tech savvy to customize and further utilize the capabilities of the website. It also provides individuals with endless amounts of opportunities on how to enhance their web experience and accessibility. API’s work to the advantage of both the individual programming and the website.