What Are APIs

Whether someone has heard of an API or not, it’s an essential aspect of much of the technology people have dealt with. Sites like W4M Maps utilize APIs like Google Maps to connect singles while many other sites use it for other purposes like integrating YouTube videos onto their sites. People may wonder what exactly this technology is.

Definition of API Technology
API stands for application programming interface, which is a kind of computer programming. It’s the basic building blocks of computer programs. Communication protocols as well as the tools needed to create the software make up API technology. Basically, an API — in particular one that’s well-established — makes the process of computer programming simpler because it provides a person with all the necessary components.

Types of API Technology

Various types of API exist. For instance, sites use an API when they include a search bar on their site. It’s convenient for visitors who come to their sites to find exactly what they need without having to search through an extensive number of irrelevant listings first. For the programmer, it’s just one of the tools they can build using API. Especially when personal information is being inputted on a site, it’s important for websites to protect the information of their users. An authentication API helps a website accomplish this.

Google Maps is another kind of API technology. The map appears on websites and allows people to find the exact location of a store, restaurant, or another type of business. W4M Maps uses the technology to show where local singles are, so a person knows if a single on the site is in their area. It helps people know a general distance from them as well.

Comparing prices is done through another API technology. This feature of a site allows people to compare two — or more — different products. It helps people make wise decisions when they’re shopping online. They can do a side-by-side comparison and see the differences in various aspects. Not everyone realizes, but even the shipping they arrange for when ordering a package requires them to use an API. Let’s say a person is planning a vacation. They pull up a form that allows them to select when they want to check in and out of the hotel. They choose any special features they want their room to have. This particular form is an API.

Melissa Thompson
Melissa Thompson writes about a wide range of topics, revealing interesting things we didn't know before. She is a freelance USA Today producer, and a Technorati contributor.