What Is An API?
API refers to the Application Programming Interface. You may have heard this acronym a lot, but what does it mean? It is a list of thousands of actions that developers can apply, along with a classification of what they do. For example, for having a dialogue box “Save as,” a developer doesn’t have to know how an operating system develops and performs this box. The only thing that the developer needs to know is that this box has its use in the application.
API lets developer to save time by taking benefit of a platform’s implementation to do the basic work. This also assists to decrease the volume of code developer necessitates to write and to build more flexibility across apps for the same platform.
Let’s imagine that you’re going to build an app for an iPhone, and you’ll clearly understand how APIs ease the life of developers. Apple’s operating system suggests a large quantity of various APIs, just like every existing OS does. Besides, these APIs make your development process more manageable.
For instance, if you decide to set a web browser to display one or multiple web pages, you don’t need to program your web browser. You will just apply the WKWebView API to set a WebKit (in this case Safari) browser in your app.
And you can apply this to any platform you wish. The only thing you need is to find the right API.
Also, APIs are useful for controlling access to resources.
Application Of APIs
APIs play an essential role in the security of a system. You may have seen the application of these type of APIs in your everyday life. An example is when you enter a website, and it asks you to provide access to collect data about your location. This website is trying to connect with a geolocation API. This also eases the work of developers of finding something or someone.
The only method to know where you are is to have access to your geolocation API, and here, you will learn the APIs’ role in security. If you deny the request of a website, it’ll never collect information about your location.
Another application of APIs is for setting communication between services. You’ve probably seen a website with an embedded Google maps there. So, this website is using the API of Google maps. Google displays this type of APIs to web developers, who can apply this API to put complex objects directly on their website. If API doesn’t exist, a developer may create his map and provide map information just to put a little interactive map on a website.
And just because the API belongs to Google, the corporation can control access to its maps on various websites, to be sure that they are not misused.
Types Of APIs Applied In Blockchains
If you are common to blockchain operating process, you surely understand that processes like transactions, issue of payment, and others won’t be able to run if there were no APIs. Nowadays, there are various APIs for different purposes. If we don’t have these, we won’t be able to make bitcoin transactions anywhere.
Blockchain Wallet API
For using this API, it’s necessary to set up a local server which will manage the virtual wallet. These changes were made since last January. The model of communication is based on HTTP POST or GET requests.
Receive Payments API
This is the easiest method for companies to accept automated payments in cryptocurrency. The API is responsible for creating a single address for every user and every invoice issued in each transaction. Its basis is the HTTP GET call.
Blockchain Data API
This is for consulting the data on the operations and transaction within the blockchain in JSON format.
JSON RPC API
Starting from March 2016, it is recommended for BTC users to apply new Blockchain Wallet API, yet the interface based on RPC calls continues to be compatible with the old Bitcoin RPC to interact with virtual currencies. This API can be installed from libraries in various programming languages like Ruby, PHP, .Net, Node.js, and Python.
This is for querying blockchain data.
Exchange Rates API
This manages the information on BTC exchange rates and international currencies in real-time and in JSON.
Gives the developers access to real-time notifications on blocks and transactions.
Charts & Statistics API
This API provides a simple interface to programmatically interact with the charts and statistics.
Reasons Why Blockchains Apply APIs
We already mentioned some cases when APIs is important. One of these is ensuring the security of the system. Blockchain also applies APIs for this and other essential purposes. Here are some functions that API does in the blockchain system.
APIs are used as a system of collaboration and ownership. Basically, blockchains are collaborative networks, and as numerous APIs are created to support a collaborative environment, it is becoming essential for blockchains to use this type of APIs.
We have talked that resources managers used APIs. In blockchains, they can be applied to control the chain. Whether it’s Supply chain or a Customer Relation Management, APIs make the process more dynamic and easy. In some cases, the blockchains and APIs interaction can also serve as some kind of quality control.
One of the most important and beneficial thing for blockchains is that API ecosystem can serve as a system of unification. Besides, things like IoT are massively intercommunicating devices that rely on trust. Also, they take into a consideration communication of intent and a record of transactions. In cases like this, a combination of blockchain and exact API is becoming a perfect resolution.
We have come to an idea that APIs are really important in modern technologies like blockchains, and they immensely ease the work of developers. So, if you are trying to learn a programming language for becoming a blockchain coder, make sure to learn where to find the right APIs and how to install them.