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What is an API? How Do APIs Improve Developer Productivity?

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Data acquisition processes of businesses have changed constantly from past to present. In the past, costly operations such as data acquisition or manual data acquisition were preferred. But today, with API integration, businesses can easily obtain the data they need. With the emergence of the API concept, businesses first asked themselves the question of what is an API and integrated this API concept directly into their business processes today.

API integration has directly increased the number and quality of data obtained by businesses in traditional ways. With API integration, businesses can reach the data they need in just seconds by making API calls to API endpoints. In this article, we will find answers to many questions about the concept of API and its types.

What is an API?

what is an api

API (Application Programming Interface) serves as a powerful enabling seamless communication between various software applications. APIs consist of defined protocols so that applications can access certain functions and exchange data.

An API is like a contract that software components offer to the outside world. This agreement makes it easier for other applications to access certain functions and share data. For example, a social media app’s API gives developers access to functions such as accessing users’ profile information or sharing posts.

Finally, APIs provide developers with access to out-of-the-box functionality and speed up the software development process. By using the API, developers do not have to redevelop complex functions. APIs standardize data exchange and provide secure communication between applications.

What are the Types of APIs?

APIs have multiple types depending on their use case. We will examine the most popular of these types today.

Private APIs

Private APIs are customized interfaces that provide private communication between a company or organization’s own internal applications. So, these APIs facilitate data sharing between in-house software and enable the integration of business processes.

Public APIs

Public APIs are known as APIs that are publicly available and provide external developers with access to the functionality of third-party applications or services. Thus, public APIs foster the creativity and innovation of a broad community of developers, enabling the emergence of new applications.

Partner APIs

Partner APIs are defined as APIs that facilitate collaboration and data sharing among business partners. So, these APIs integrate the systems of different companies, enabling more efficient collaboration and improving the coordination of processes.

Composite APIs

Composite APIs are APIs that combine different APIs and provide a solution against more complex functionality through a single interface. By leveraging the capabilities of multiple APIs, these composite APIs enable developers to integrate diverse resources and services in a unified manner, streamlining the software development process and significantly saving time.

What are the API Protocols?

API protocols also referred to as communication standards and protocols, play a vital role in facilitating the communication and data exchange of APIs. Now, let’s explore some popular API protocols in more detail.


It is an API protocol based on the concept of Representational State Transfer. REST service APIs exchange data using the HTTP protocol. Additionally, o lightweight is one of the modern web APIs. Clients can receive, send or update data from the server using standard HTTP methods such as GET, POST, PUT, and DELETE. REST APIs exchange data in JSON (JavaScript Object Notation), XML (Extensible Markup Language), and many more data transfer formats.


It is an API protocol known as Simple Object Access Protocol. SOAP APIs use an XML-based data transfer format only. Additionally, SOAP APIs specify functions and data structures using a description language called WSDL (Web Services Description Language). Developers prefer SOAP APIs in large-scale systems with complex data structures and stringent security requirements.


It is an API protocol known as Remote Procedure Call. RPC APIs developers are often used by a client to call a procedure that resides on the server. The client sends the necessary parameters to the server to call a particular function, and the server performs the function and returns the result in response to the client. Moreover, it usually has smaller size data formats (JSON, XML, etc.) for data exchange.

GraphQL APIs

Another popular API protocol is Graph Query Language. GraphQL APIs allow the client to get the data it needs with a particular query. The client manages data exchange by specifying specific data fields and relationships using the GraphQL query language. As a result, it is an API that reduces network traffic considerably.

What are the Advantages of Using APIs for Developers?

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There are many advantages to using APIs for developers in their business and development processes. In this section, we will describe some of the popular advantages of using the API.

  • Efficient Software Development: APIs significantly enhance the speed and efficiency of the software development process by granting access to pre-built functionality and services. Instead of grappling with the task of building a feature or obtaining a dataset from scratch, developers can seamlessly integrate the necessary functionality into their applications using APIs, thereby saving valuable time throughout the development process. For example, developers don’t need to have a database with millions of data around the world to obtain geolocation data corresponding to the IP addresses of their visitors. For this, they can easily and quickly use the ipstack API, one of the most popular IP geolocation APIs today. This distinctive factor greatly contributes to heightened productivity.
  • Platform Independence: APIs facilitate interaction between software applications. An API enables communication between different programming languages or platforms. Thus, APIs allow developers to access a wider user base. As a result, this allows apps to run smoothly on different devices or platforms.
  • Live and Secure Data: Developers can easily exchange up-to-date and real-time data with APIs. Using APIs, developers always have access to the most up-to-date data, ensuring their users are up-to-date. For instance, many trading platforms obtain the foreign exchange data they provide to their users from popular forex APIs such as the Fixer API. With these APIs, trading platforms can obtain live and current foreign exchange data with a single HTTP request. Also, APIs can quickly integrate with authentication mechanisms. So they help developers to ensure data security.
  • Reducing Application Development Cost: The use of APIs is one of the most important factors in reducing software development costs. By using API, developers get rid of many costs such as obtaining the data they need, selling, maintaining, updating, and providing security. For example, it is very costly for an application that provides historical weather information to store weather data from hundreds of thousands of locations dating back years. Instead, many businesses use weather APIs such as the weatherstack API that work pretty fast and provide historical data.


As a result, the use of the API, which has more than one type and protocol, provides many advantages to the developers. By choosing the appropriate API type and protocol for architecture and business requirements, developers can gain many advantages such as rapid development, cost reduction, and working with up-to-date data.

Meet our unique and well-equipped API products, and get all the advantages of using APIs with fast integration.


Q: How Can I Integrate an API (Application Programming Interface) to My Project?

A: There are two popular ways to perform API integration. The first one, traditionally, is manual API integration, while the other involves utilizing an API integration platform. Today, developers frequently opt for both options.

Q: What are the Benefits of Web APIs?

A: The Web API has many advantages for developers. Some of these advantages are as follows:

  • Platform Independence
  • Extensibility
  • Data Integration Ease
  • Modularity and Component-Based Development
  • Scalability
  • Reusability

Q: Does SOAP (Simple Object Access Protocol) Only Respond in XML Format?

A: Yes, it does. SOAP (Simple Object Access Protocol) uses XML format to transport structured data. SOAP is an XML-based protocol, that exchanges data using XML format.

Q: What is the Importance of API Documentation for Developers?

A: API documentation is very important for developers. Firstly, it allows developers to monitor the current version and changes. Then, it can have sample codes for integration into different applications. Finally, it provides developers with detailed information about the API.

Q: Do I Need an API Key to Use APIs Under APILayer?

A: Yes, you do. There are more than 90 API products listed under APILayer. Although all of these API products have a free subscription plan, you must be registered to use these API products. You can use this API with the API key you will get after registration.

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