API Cheat Sheet What is an API, How it Works, and How to Choose the Right API Testing Tools

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Endpoints are Uniform Resource Identifiers (URIs) that provide access to specific resources in a database. For instance, if a user wants to see all of the products at an e-commerce store, the API client will send a GET request to the /products endpoint. GraphQL is a query language that was developed specifically for APIs. It prioritizes giving clients exactly the data they request and no more. It is designed to make APIs fast, flexible, and developer-friendly. As an alternative to REST, GraphQL gives front-end developers the ability to query multiple databases, microservices, and APIs with a single GraphQL endpoint.

api explanation

An application programming interface can be synchronous or asynchronous. Service-oriented architectures (SOAs) and microservice architectures are both comprised of modular services that perform specific business functions, but they have several key differences. For instance, microservices communicate with one another through APIs, whereas SOA services rely on an enterprise service bus (ESB) for routing, transforming, and managing messages. Additionally, SOA services tend to use SOAP, whereas microservices tend to use lightweight protocols like REST. Finally, SOA services are less granular than microservices, and they may also be dependent on one another.

Connecting IoT devices

They standardize how developers write application code, improving an organization’s internal software development processes. Remote APIs are designed to interact https://deveducation.com/ through a communications network. By remote, we mean that the resources being manipulated by the API are somewhere outside the computer making the request.

You need them to process an order and confirm payment if you are selling anything. You need them to collect data if that is the goal it education of your solution. After understanding these concepts, you can try working on them by implementing some of the concepts in projects.

REST API security vulnerabilities

The information from this custom resource references a list of APIDescriptors and how path-based routing aggregates them. These layers act as mediators and prevent direct interaction between the client and server apps. As a result, a client doesn’t know which server or component they address. To enforce this constraint of statelessness, you need to use resources rather than commands.

api explanation

Because a web service exposes an application’s data and functionality to other applications, in effect, every web service is an API. For example, the company Stripe began as an API with just seven lines of code. The company has since partnered with many of the biggest enterprises in the world, diversified to offer loans and corporate cards, and was recently valued at USD 36 billion (link resides outside ibm.com). This same principle is used on modern mobile operating systems like iOS and Android, where mobile apps have permissions that can be enforced by controlling access to APIs. For example, if a developer tries to access the camera via the camera API, you can deny the permission request and the app has no way of accessing your device’s camera. In layman’s terms, I’ve always said an API is like a translator between two people who speak different languages.


REST APIs are usually easier to understand, consume, and integrate than SOAP APIs, but they lack some of SOAP’s advanced features. Websocket API is another modern web API development that uses JSON objects to pass data. A WebSocket API supports two-way communication between client apps and the server.

api explanation

Postman is the #1 place where developers come to work with APIs. See why we’re top-ranked in G2’s first-ever evaluation of API Platforms. Do you have your own experience or tips to share with the Postman community? Learn more about our guest blogger program and submit your idea here. This is a guest post written by Subho Halder, co-founder and chief information security officer at Appknox.

  • This allows third parties to develop apps that interact with your API and can be a source for innovation.
  • Endpoints are Uniform Resource Identifiers (URIs) that provide access to specific resources in a database.
  • Here, we’ll give a high-level overview of how APIs work before reviewing the different types of APIs and how they are used.
  • They allow you to migrate from one server to another and update the database at any moment.
  • The average enterprise uses almost 1,200 cloud applications (link resides outside ibm.com), many of which are disconnected.

They are built so that you can create a website or app and link to their websites. So if you want to have Google Maps in your app you don’t have to design it yourself. You can take the API and have the map – and all its updates – in your app forever. Want to know what actual services are delivered by APIs or how you might be using them and not even know? API.expert has hundreds of services ranked by the quality of service they delivery in dozens of categories from business services like Office365 & Google, through to Slack and Zoom.