APIs are communication interfaces between two programs or systems. Basically, an Application Programming Interface allows two or more programs to communicate with each other, thus creating a connection: a program shares certain information in code form that a second program will use for its operation.
In other words, an API is a web service that is typically protected and returns output when an input is given. It is therefore a kind of black box that, regardless of the logic contained therein, follows a communication protocol and a defined structure to provide a result to a software.
For a developer, providing a set of APIs is a great way to promote a program and offer third parties the opportunity to interact with it, thus extending the functions and features of the platform’s basic structure.
Among the many companies that offer API sets, making it easier for programmers to access software components, we find Salesforce, Oracle, and Google, for example. The concept behind it is to compose reusable APIs and avoid IT departments having to develop connections from scratch.
However, in order to be understood and reused by third parties, it is necessary that APIs are well written.
But what does a well-written API look like? Usually, a well-structured API includes a good specification and a useful example code that can then be copied and pasted. In general, it is necessary that APIs are designed and implemented for simple use and are easy to manage, configure, and secure.
Leader among the platforms that deal with orchestration and API management is Mulesoft, part of the Salesforce family since 2018.Return to Atlantic Glossary