An API (Application Programming Interface) is a helpful technology that enables developers to build apps quickly using existing functionality and data. This way, developers don’t have to start from scratch to build a specific app. For example, if you’re looking to develop an app that provides current and future weather information to users, you can use a weather API product to source data for your app. Similarly, you can use a currency data API to create an app that provides real-time and historical exchange rates for different world currencies. Hence, API products accelerate the application development process and reduce costs.
Read on if you want to learn more about API products.
Table of Contents
What Is An API Product?
Before we discuss what an API product is, let’s first discuss what an API is.
An API refers to a set of functions and protocols that enable two applications to exchange data. In other words, it allows two different apps to interact and talk to each other. Additionally, an API is capable of accessing the features, data, and functionality of other apps and software. Most of us use an API on a daily basis. For instance, when we log in to Facebook or check weather conditions on our smartphones, we use an API.
API Product: An API product is simply an API that is available to other app developers for consumption, such as a SERP API, IP to geolocation API, weather API, and more. An API product is sometimes also defined as a set of APIs that work together in one single app to perform different operations.
How Do API Products Work?
If API products are made using REST, they support four HTTP methods:
GET: Enables users to retrieve data from a server
POST: Used to send data to the server
PUT: Enables users to modify/update a resource or resources
DELETE: Removes a resource or existing data from the server
Here is how an API works:
First, the receiving app initiates an API call or a request to retrieve data/information. This is done by sending a request to the web server via the API’s URI (Uniform Resource Identifier). Next, the API calls the web server of the other app or program. The server then sends the requested data or information. Finally, the API sends the data back to the receiving app that initiated the request.
If an API product is delivered as a bundle of APIs, it consists of both internal and external APIs. For example, if a restaurant uses an API product for their app that customers can use to place an order, the internal APIs will be used by the restaurant management to manage the menu, ordering of food, and payment processing. On the other hand, customers will use external APIs that help place an order or track delivery time.
What Are The Benefits Of Using API Products?
API products offer several benefits:
APIs speed up and improve the app development process, and reduce costs, as developers don’t have to create their own data sources for their apps
Add an additional security layer between business data and server
APIs enhance the automation processes of websites and web apps
Enable businesses to react efficiently to new opportunities
What Is An API Marketplace?
An API marketplace is essentially a platform that consists of several different types of API products in one place. In other words, API developers can use an API marketplace to monetize and sell their APIs. Additionally, app developers can also use an API marketplace easily to find their APIs and integrate them into their projects.
An API marketplace is like an e-commerce marketplace, such as Amazon, where sellers can list their products and consumers can order online. Similarly, an API marketplace connects APIs sellers and consumers. You can simply list your API products with their pricing details on an API marketplace, and other developers and businesses can buy them online. You can also offer a free plan to allow consumers to try and test the API features.
Where Can You Find The Best Free API Products?
If you’re looking for the best free API products, check out the APILayer marketplace.
APILayer API marketplace offers benefits for both API sellers and consumers
APILayer marketplace consists of 75+ scalable and secure REST API products, and new APIs are constantly added to the marketplace.
With the APILayer marketplace, API sellers have the freedom to create different pricing plans for their APIs, while API consumers can get their desired APIs at reasonable prices.
All API products on the APILayer marketplace have a free plan, allowing users to try and test the API features. Additionally, no credit card is required to use the free plan.
APILayer takes only 15% of the revenue, compared to the standard 20% in the market.
APILayer handles key tasks for API sellers, such as customer acquisition, payment collection processes, rate limits, memberships, and key management.
With the APILayer marketplace, API providers can reach broader audiences.
APILayer thoroughly reviews all the API products before listing them on the marketplace, so you can be sure all products are reliable.
Most Popular API Products of APILayer Marketplace
Here are some of the most used API products of the APILayer marketplace:
Currency Data API
Currency data API is an easy-to-use REST API that provides historical and real-time exchange rates for as many as 168 world currencies.
IPstack is an efficient IP-to-geolocation API that provides geolocation data of users based on their IP addresses.
Zenserp is a SERP API that enables users to scrape real-time SERPs (Search Engine Result Pages) for a query.
Tax Data API
Tax Data API is a REST API that offers several features:
Allow users to validate VAT numbers in as many as 38 countries
Provide information regarding the tax rates of a single country or all countries
Can convert prices based on the tax rates and type of the product
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Is an API product SOAP or REST?
Developers use both SOAP and REST for API development. However, REST is more common these days, as it allows developers to create API products that are fast, lightweight, scalable, and secure.
What are some examples of APIs?
Some API examples include weather API like weatherstack, SERP API like Zenserp, IP Geolocation API like IPstack, and many more.
What are the different types of APIs?
The four common types of APIs include public or open APIs, private APIs, partner APIs, and composite APIs.