You have a genius idea. You map your brilliant plan, create a beautiful design, and hire a developer or two to build out your site. Your application looks amazing! Here is a typical and simple web architecture.
As you release your first version of the product, a potential customer says, “Hey, how can I integrate with your application?” or “Will this work with Salesforce?” Now you realize you have no way of manipulating data behind the scenes. You can’t integrate other services quickly or let customers embed your services in their application. You missed the key component, your Application Program Interface (API).
In a well-architected application, the API is the brain of your application. It is hidden but remains crucial to the success of your product. It lets many different users, companies, and applications use your platform securely.
What is It?
An API is a software-to-software interface, not a user interface. It is for this reason that no one ever talks about APIs. Users might never know an API exists, but without it, your system is not flexible enough to meet more modern requirements.
What Does it Do?
The API is a middle layer between the user interface and the database. Like the brain of the application, it contains the business logic. Are you logging on to a site? The API ensures your credentials are valid. Purchasing an item? The API determines if the item is available, if you have the necessary funds, and it will adjust the values after the purchase. Here is an example:
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How does this pertain to me?
As a product owner, it is important that you know that your API serves as highly scalable and flexible communication point that lets the world interact with your product. This flexibility enables you to scale your development teams, improve performance, and most importantly, provide your organization with additional revenue streams.
Need help establishing an API in your application? Don’t hesitate to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org