The API example we’ve been looking at is a specific example that lets us see how useful APIs can be. While web-based APIs are increasingly common, especially as different apps and companies need to integrate with the surrounding digital world, APIs aren’t limited to just the purpose of pulling in data.
APIs are everywhere in web development. They provide the interface for programmers to interact with all the different types of predefined objects within a particular framework. As you get more experienced as a Web Developer, your knowledge of various languages, frameworks, and external APIs expands gradually.
The design of an API is one of the most creatively challenging tasks that a developer may encounter in their career. Designing an API requires a developer to think about the other programmers who will use the API, and how to make the API easy to use for their use cases.
APIs that are well-designed showcase thoughtful and purposeful language decisions in the naming of methods and parameters. The questions and objects that a user can interact with should feel intuitive and self-evident.
While the API that we looked at deals with real-life objects like flights and airports, it’s more common for APIs to deal with virtual objects, the definitions of which are also up to the API designer.
APIs can be vast, requiring pages and pages of documentation. In the case of larger APIs, the language choice and scope of the methods can be crucial for the API to be intuitive to use.
In this challenge, we looked at the importance of API's for two systems to interact and share data, or information. In the final challenge, we'll take a look at databases and the purpose they serve.