API services help us interact with server-side systems to update or retrieve the data. On the other hand, API as a service is a platform to help us deploy or design API services. So when we want to know the basics of API as a service, we must know the basics linked with API services and APIs.
In this blog post, we will learn about all these concepts in the simplest possible forms to fulfill our business needs. We must understand that API services are nothing less than the lifeblood of most mobile applications. We use cloud services to store logic and data to save users’ storage on devices. This is how our device requires a lesser storage place.
Let’s explore this concept further.
Table of Contents
What Is An API Service?
API stands for application programming interface, and an API service is an interface that gives us a particular program. The program describes interaction with a system to change or retrieve the data within it.
Simply put, API service acts as a source that helps software interact with the functionality stored in its backend. Let’s discuss the web APIs in this article.
Let’s take an example of the most common API service; user authentication. When we register an account online, either on an application or a website, we need its authentication.
The authentication process is done either by a service provider or OAuth (third-party applications). Virtually, user authentication is mostly processed through an API.
We should know that there is no possibility to register only on the client-side interface. It is essential to store and deliver users’ information on the backend. It helps the user access protection for its data on the front end.
An interesting thing to note is that some software or applications benefit from the client-side interface by offering an offline mode.
The offline mode is possible when the users’ data is stored in their device and submitted when they get online.
API Services vs. Microservices
An API microservice refers to the API that uses a backend with a certain architectural style. It is a method in application development in which there are independent and small pieces of components. On the other hand, its API services contain all the components in a single application.
API microservices are kept in multiple small containers. This approach helps us safely modify the backend code. This is because it allows us to change one service at a time, not the whole application. As a result, the debugging process becomes easier to do. We can quickly figure out the elements causing issues.
Moreover, the self-contained elements in a microservice are highly reusable. This concept plays an important role in what we will explain in the next few parts of the article. Let’s continue reading.
What Is API As A Service?
According to some recent studies, APIs will become the next big wave in software as a service (SaaS). API as a service is a software platform that helps users interact with multiple APIs (third-party APIs). It also allows users to manage their custom APIs. We must know that there are two elements in an API as a service. These two elements are:
- It gives the ability to develop, test, and deploy API services of a user
- It allows our application to connect with third-party applications
We should be aware of the fact that our third-party apps may come in various forms.
Besides an example like user authentication, we can also use payment processing services, Google Maps, and voice search APIs. Moreover, AaaS also contains other elements that enable it to generate API docs.
We must know that API documentation is important to understand the functionality and usage of an API. We can share the API seamlessly with team members using the API documentation.
It also helps us make our APIs available to others in the form of third-party APIs. Let’s dig into key principles behind APIs as a service.
What Are the Key Principles Behind API As A Service?
We must know that AaaS essentially conforms to the software as a service. We know that API helps us interact between two different websites, or platforms, so we can communicate easily.
Therefore, we should never conceive our API as a monolithic, amorphous, and single entity. Rather, it gives us a whole piece of the description of knowing the interaction between software. The process refers to the API service-oriented architecture that allows accessing the functionalities from a third party.
The interaction of one application with another can be to change data or retrieve it. The important perspective on API for envisioning microservice architecture is that the APIs comprise separate services.
We have already discussed the concept of API microservice above. It is more like building a house by using small lego boxes.
Let’s sum up the concept into two key principles; API service-based architecture and API microservice architecture.
What Are RESTful APIs In API As A Service?
RESTful APIs also use reusable components, just like API microservices. It uses standard operations and stateless protocols to achieve growth, reliability, and fast performance. The primarily reusable components are easy to update, modify, and interchange without affecting the whole system.
Using reusable components gives us more protection when updating or developing our application. It reduces the risks of damaging something system-wide. If we use REST APIs in our application, then the app is known as a RESTful application.
API As A Service: Conclusion
We put so much of the design work into our platform that it acts like glue to hold a complete system of APIs. The best part to know is that there has been a huge evolution in API technology.
We can now easily fashion efficient and excellent services on different hosted tools. These tools require extra attention and care, whether we deal with APIs or microservices architecture.
API as a service is becoming an important part of today’s businesses due to its reliability and flexibility. We can win our businesses by using these APIs.
Is API a SAAS?
APIs act as separate segments in software as a service. API helps us to request data from a third party, while SaaS makes it possible to give us certain functions.
What Are the 4 Types of API?
What Is Api-Based SAAS?
An API-based SaaS interacts with the service using a web-based API. Moreover, it has no user interface.
Is API the Same as Service?
All web services can be referred to as APIs, but not all APIs are web services. Services are a type of API.
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