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General Discussion

Bruno Dias
Bruno Dias
10,554 Points

What is web API?

I keep seeing this term in web development but that really means?

3 Answers

API stands for Application Program(ing) Interface. API's allow developers to build programmatic structures to easily communicate with their programs. API's such as twitter, facebook and instagram allow developers to access specific functions that return said social media's data.

Vijay Rangan
Vijay Rangan
2,512 Points

API in general stands for Application Programming Interface. I understand that term is extremely confusing and hard to grasp at first. Let me try and help.

Let's a programmer, such as yourself, creates a really cool Video hosting service. You would really like people to be able to access the contents from you service via some sort of URL (think YouTube). With web browsers that's pretty simple, you put in the URL in the browser's address bar and you get to see the video. Great!

Now what if someone on, say a mobile device, wants to include some of the videos on your web application in their own application ? They can't really put in a URL in their mobile application right ? For this, you would create something called and API (this url, but meant to share resources with others programatically) that the mobile developer can access with code.

Nowadays APIs use JSON (Javascript Object Notation) to transfer the data from your web app (the Video Service) via the API to the mobile developer. Essentially, an API allows programmers to get access to another service or application (such as Facebook, Google Plus, YouTube etc..) programatically.

I hope that was clear :)

Tushar Singh
Tushar Singh
Courses Plus Student 8,692 Points

I really won't go into the full form of api or stuff like that, becau

Simple answer is api is a umm for simplicity let's say stuff, so api is a stuff which we can use to collect data from the third-party.

For eg. You are building a web app, now how can you forecast the weather really?? Ans is no, you can't and you don't need to.

Here api will save your ***, you will ask the weather company(again for simplicity) to give you the data for a particular location.

that's the concept of an api, you ask for the data from a third-party. There, you used your first api :wink:

Trust me when I say, it will be really hard when you will build something using an api for the first time but after first time-----super easy.

So start working, why not a web app, you can use openweathermap.org api.

Good Luck.