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What is the full form of API?

Posted in Technology     MAY 4, 2021

What does API stand for?

API is an abbreviation for the Application Programming Interface. It is a set of rules and protocols for building software applications. A programmer who writes an application can request the operating system using API.

What is an API?

  • It is basically software that is used to make two applications convey messages with each other. Each time a person is using apps like Facebook, Instagram he is using an API. It allows technology products to connect over the internet. It is a type of operating or database system.
  • When you use applications like Facebook, messenger on your phone. The application is connected to the internet where the data is sent to the server. The job of the server is to recover the data, interpret the data and then send it back to the phone to perform the necessary actions. The information is then presented to you in a readable manner. The interface is the place where various software components interact.

Understanding API With an Example

Imagine that you are sitting at a restaurant with the menu. The kitchen is the part of the structure that will prepare your order. The thing that is missing is the critical link of conveying your order to the kitchen. This is where the waiter or API comes in. The waiter is the messenger or API that conveys your order and tells the kitchen or the system what to do. The waiter or the API then brings back the order or the response to the user.

When API was introduced?

It was introduced on 7th February 2000 by sales force.com at the IDG demo 2000 conference, but they were not publicly available.

What are the important elements of an API?

There are 3 important elements:

1. Procedures:

It refers to the specific task or functions a program performs.

2. Protocols

The protocol is the system by which applications can communicate with each other. However, all the applications may not depend on the same format.

3. Tools

Tools are the materials required to create a software program. They are the building blocks of a software program.

What are the types of an API?

There are 4 main types of API:

Open API

Open API also known as public API. These types of API are publicly available and there is no restriction to access these APIs.

Partner API

These types of API are not available to the public and a programmer requires a special license or specific rights to access this type of API.

Internal API

These are also known as personal APIs and are used for a company's internal use. This type of API is used by internal teams of a company to improve the company's product and services.

Composite API

This type of API integrates different data and services. It provides a sequence of instructions that run in a specific order to execute a particular task. Its main task is to improve the performance of the web interface and to speed up the process of execution.

What are public and private APIs?

These are the two broad classifications of API:

Public API:

These types of API are accessible over the internet. External programmers create these applications to take advantage of their benefits. An example of a most popular form of public API is youtube.

Private API:

This type of API is used internally within an organization to improve a companies business benefit. This type of API is only accessible to those people who have been granted access to the API for instance employees of a particular organization. Programmers within an organization take advantage of the functions of this type of API to build and improve designs within an organization. Private API can improve the applications of a company and also enhances the way employers communicate.

What are the designs of API?

There are several methods used to design API:

  • One method is by the concept of not sharing information. It operates in a way that the software can be divided into modules, each having a secret interface.
  • There is another way where they use methods to create and maintain high-level software structures

What are the advantages of using API?

  • There are of great use for programmers as they complete the code themselves, to add functions to the application.
  • It is very useful for customizing and improving applications
  • It makes sure that the application functions efficiently and at high speeds.
  • Data sharing becomes a lot easier

What are the disadvantages of using API?

  • It is at risk to be hacked, as it is a getaway.
  • Maintenance of an API is expensive and difficult.
  • If the API is hacked other applications are at threat
  • The system can crash during testing


The above article explains everything about an API in brief. The article covers everything from what is API, its full form, when was it introduced, 3 important elements of API, types of API, public and private API, designs of an API, and advantages and disadvantages of API.