In today’s tech-driven world, you’ve probably come across the term “API development” frequently, but you might not be entirely sure what it means. How it can benefit your business? Why it is catching up with the hype in the mobile app development industry?
From logging on to Facebook to making payments through multi-payment methods on various e-commerce platforms, APIs are being used in almost every application.What exactly is an API? How can it be utilized? Do you need to hire a mobile app developer in the UK to create or use one?
And most, important what APIs do you need for your business app to make it functional?
Let’s make it simple for you!
Have you ever accessed any ecommerce, social media, or video streaming apps?
“Surely, you must have access to any one of these apps, but when I used to access any ecommerce app, I always wonder how would I get an easy payment option, how simply I can share the products with my friends, and how seamlessly I’m able to add products in cart…”
That’s the role of API development…
Certainly! Many businesses, with limited technology knowledge, might think that ready-to-use frameworks can easily build fully-functional eCommerce or social media apps. However, what they often overlook is the critical role of APIs and their compatibility with programming languages in adding advanced functionality to their applications.
Image Source: freecodecamp
Read more to know how to create an ecommerce application with simple steps.
APIs act as the essential connectors that enable apps to communicate with each other and leverage each other’s features, making it possible to create powerful, interconnected solutions. So, while the frameworks provide a foundation, it’s the clever utilization of APIs that truly elevates the capabilities of their app and delivers a seamless user experience.
Whether you’re a non-technical founder or someone looking to build APIs without coding, we’ve got you covered. So, let’s dive in and discover the world of APIs, starting from the basics and gradually moving towards powerful tools that can empower you to build APIs with ease!
What Is API (Application Programming Interface)?
An API (Application Programming Interface) is like a set of instructions and standards that allow software or apps to utilize features and services from other applications, devices, or platforms to enhance their own services.
Technically, it’s a piece of programming code that facilitates data transmission between different software products. However to make these APIs work, usually it uses two main components:
1. A technical specification that outlines how data is exchanged, and a software interface that implements this specification. When one software needs access to information or functionality from another software, it calls the API, specifying its requirements.
2. The other software then responds by providing the requested data or functionality. APIs define the interface through which these applications communicate. APIs serve various purposes, such as speeding up software development, simplifying processes, and allowing developers to add functionalities from third-party providers.
This is how it actually works. But before you hire a software development company in the UK for API development or learn how to develop an API, it is worth knowing the types of API developments.
Why API Development Has Become So Important For Business Apps?
In the ever-evolving world of technology, APIs have become the backbone of business apps, enabling seamless data integration and communication between various products and services.
Just like how hitting the ‘Share Story on Facebook’ button on Instagram effortlessly accesses our Facebook data without the need for manual login. APIs streamline the user experience by facilitating data sharing between apps and platforms, all without burdening developers.
APIs empower mobile applications and platforms to interact and collaborate effectively, enhancing functionality and user satisfaction. Instead of reinventing the wheel, businesses can leverage existing APIs or connect with other apps/platforms, saving time and resources in the development process.
With APIs at the core of app development, both app developers and business leaders are turning their attention to API development to create efficient and interconnected solutions.
Here’s why API development has become important for businesses:
- Seamless Integration: API development enables smooth integration with external services, empowering business apps to leverage a vast ecosystem of functionalities and data sources.
- Enhanced User Experience: APIs streamline data exchange between apps, resulting in a seamless and user-friendly experience that keeps customers engaged and satisfied.
- Time and Cost Efficiency: Leveraging existing APIs saves development time and reduces costs by eliminating the need to build functionalities from scratch.
- Interconnectivity: APIs facilitate communication between different apps and platforms, fostering collaboration and interoperability among various software solutions.
- Scalability and Flexibility: APIs allow business apps to scale easily and adapt to changing requirements, ensuring they remain relevant and future-proof.
- Access to Third-Party Services: API integration opens the door to third-party services, expanding app capabilities and offering customers more value.
- Innovation and Agility: API-driven apps can quickly adopt new features, enabling businesses to stay ahead of competitors and adapt to market demands.
- Cross-Platform Compatibility: APIs enable apps to work across multiple devices and platforms, reaching a broader audience and increasing market reach.
- Data Security and Control: APIs provide controlled access to specific data, ensuring data security while allowing smooth data exchange between authorized parties.
- Business Growth Opportunities: By offering APIs to other developers, businesses can unlock new revenue streams and create a thriving ecosystem around their services.
If you are also interested to get into the details of API development, then buckle up for an exciting journey through the realm of API development and its increasing impact on modern business apps.
But firstly decide what type of API development you need…
What Type of API Development Should You Consider For Your Mobile App?
There are various types of APIs available for different purposes. So what API development services do you need to use? Before you get straight to hiring a web development company in the UK, you need to take a look at the different types of APIs that you can pick for your project.
Image Source: devdigital
So here we have categorized the APIs based on their release policies, each serving different purposes in the world of software integration.
These interfaces are designed to enhance services and solutions within an organization. Only in-house developers and contractors with access can use them to build new systems, giving the company complete control over API usage.
Partner APIs facilitate software integration between two parties, openly promoted and shared with business partners who have signed agreements with the publisher. Companies benefit from extra revenue streams while ensuring proper usage of digital assets and maintaining corporate identity in third-party solutions.
Also known as external or developer-facing APIs, these are available for third-party developers. Public API programs increase brand awareness and can generate additional income when implemented effectively. Public APIs can be open (with no restrictive terms) or commercial (with subscription or pay-as-you-go models).
These APIs combine different service and data APIs, creating a single call that can perform multiple tasks. This boosts execution speed and enhances the performance of web interfaces, providing a seamless experience for users.
No matter what type of API category you may choose, to make a precise decision, you need hire app developers developer in the UK and understand how they work.
Read more about how much does it cost to hire Android App developers in the UK?
How Do APIs Work?
Image Source: medium
“To understand how APIs work, let’s use an example. Imagine you’re on a travel website or app, trying to book a flight. You fill out the form with all the details like departure date, return date, flight preferences, and city.”
When you hit the “Submit” button, a list of flights with seat availability, timings, and prices appears. How does this happen? APIs make it possible!
To provide accurate flight data, the travel platform sends a request to the airline’s website (API). The API accesses the airline’s database, gathers the relevant flight information, and sends it back to the platform.
In this process, the API acts as a bridge, facilitating the smooth exchange of data between the travel platform and the airline’s website (endpoints). There are two common ways APIs communicate with endpoints: SOAP and REST.
SOAP and REST are two different methods of communication that APIs use to get and send data between different applications.
Now that we know how APIs work, let’s explore some basic API development terminologies.
Basic Terminologies That You Must Need To Know
No matter what type of mobile app you are planning to develop, here are some common terminologies used in API development explained for your ready reference:
- API Key: An API key is a unique code used by computer programs to verify and authenticate the user or developer accessing the API.
- Endpoint: Endpoints are like touchpoints where the API interacts with a server, allowing data exchange between different applications or a server and a web application.
- GET: GET is a method used to request data from a server, specifically asking for information from a particular resource.
- POST: POST is a method used to send data to the API server, typically used for creating or updating resources.
- OAuth: OAuth is a security framework that enables secure and limited access to a user’s data for third-party websites or applications, without requiring the user’s password.
- Latency: Latency refers to the time taken by an API to process a request and provide a response.
- Rate-Limiting: Rate-limiting is a way to control the rate of incoming and outgoing traffic to the API, ensuring fair usage and preventing overloading.
- API Throttling: API throttling refers to limiting the usage of the API by consumers for a specific period, preventing excessive or abusive use.
These terminologies play a crucial role in API development, ensuring secure and efficient data exchange between various software applications and platforms. To use it rightly, make sure to hire the right app developers.
Read more to know how much it costs to hire iOS app developers in the UK.
Top API Development Tools To Build Pro-Level APIs
With the availability of various API design and development tools, choosing the best one for your business API development tools is always a nerve-wracking task for businesses. But here we have listed some top choices of API development tools for developers:
Image Source: Hiddenbrains.co.uk
All these best choices of tools for API development, so how would you decide which one is best suitable for your project? So let’s understand what features you need to look for in the API development tools.
Must-Have Features in API Design That You Need to Check
When creating an API, there are essential points to consider to ensure a smooth development process and maintain team cohesion. If you’re looking to hire a mobile app developer in the UK for API development, keep the following aspects in mind:
1. Authentication and Authorization: Ensure your API has robust authentication and authorization mechanisms in place to ensure who is verified and not allowed to perform the specific action. To strengthen security, experts usually implement JWT, OAuth, and OAuth2 for secure user verification and access control.
2. Query, Filter, Sorting & Pagination: As your database grows, efficient data retrieval becomes crucial. Your developer should be well-versed in implementing query, filtering, sorting, and pagination strategies to optimize response times and manage large datasets effectively.
3. Cache Strategy: Hiring a mobile app developer in the UK with expertise in developing a cache strategy is essential. Utilizing tools like Memcached and Redis can significantly improve API performance by reducing the number of requests and speeding up data retrieval.
4. API Wrappers: Consider hiring an expert that can create language-specific API wrappers, combining multiple API calls into user-friendly functions. API wrappers streamline interactions with the API, making it easier for clients to work with your API.
5. HATEOAS: With the experts, who understand HATEOAS and enable you RESTful API design. Implementing this concept ensures that clients can interact with your API through dynamic responses provided by the server, creating a flexible and interactive user experience.
6. Error Handling: A skilled mobile app developer in the UK should be adept at implementing effective error-handling mechanisms. Properly identifying and handling errors will enhance the debugging process and improve user experience.
7. Validation: A developer proficient in API validation techniques, both client-side and server-side, will ensure data correctness and integrity. Hiring someone experienced in validating user inputs and ensuring data accuracy is crucial.
8. Testing: Make sure you hire an app developer in the UK with extensive API testing knowledge. API testing using tools like Postman, SoapUI, and JMeter ensures that your API meets functional, security, and performance expectations.
These are the few features that you need to consider while looking for API design, but the central question remains unanswered- that how to build an effective API for mobile apps…
Read more to know the top web app ideas for startups in 2023.
Best Practices To Build Effective API for Mobile Apps
API development can be an easy process if you know the best practices to build an effective API for your mobile app. So here are the top 5 best practices to develop effective APIs for mobile apps:
Step 1: API documentation is a crucial technical resource that provides detailed guidance on effectively using and integrating with the API. It covers functions, classes, return types, and arguments to facilitate seamless integration.
Step 2: Maintaining consistency and stability is key to creating an intuitive API. Stick to uniform naming conventions throughout for easy understanding, and ensure backward compatibility to support older versions of the API.
Step 3: Flexibility is essential since it’s challenging to anticipate all possible use cases. Allow some tolerance in input and output constraints to accommodate different client platforms and future unknown scenarios.
Step 4: Prioritize security while ensuring ease of use. Implement token-based authentication for secure access without burdening users with complex authentication processes.
Step 5: Lastly, simplicity is paramount for easy adoption. Ensure your API is user-friendly, straightforward to use, and consistently delivers reliable performance.
So this is how API development takes place, but it is worth hiring experts to seamless API development.
How Much Does It Cost To Develop API at Hidden Brains UK?
The average cost of developing an API is depending upon the complexity of the API but still developing a secure, feature-full API with the expert services of a software development company in the UK, the average cost will range between $15,000 to $20,000.
Still to get the final estimation it is worth booking a free consultation slot to discuss your project details.
Conclusion: How Do Hidden Brains UK Help You With API Development?
APIs have become a game-changer not only in software development but also in fostering business collaborations. They offer vital technological connectivity that boosts profits and streamlines operations. If you’re eager to leverage the power of APIs for your business, you can create and integrate custom APIs tailored to your needs.
After exploring this article, you now have a clear understanding of what APIs are, how they function, and the process of building exceptional APIs for your business. If you’re ready to embark on this journey, our offshore remote development team is at your service.
Our dedicated developers are renowned for crafting top-notch APIs that cater to your unique requirements. Don’t hesitate to reach out to our team to kick-start your API development journey and elevate your business to new heights. For more details, you can contact us!
What is API development?
API development involves creating application programming interfaces that allow software systems to interact and exchange data.
Why is API development important?
API development is crucial as it enables seamless integration between different applications, enhances business collaborations, and improves software functionality.
What are the common types of APIs?
The common types of APIs include REST APIs, SOAP APIs, GraphQL APIs, and Webhooks.
What are the key steps in API development?
The key steps in API development include requirement analysis, design, implementation, testing, documentation, and deployment.
How to ensure API security?
To ensure API security, use authentication mechanisms like OAuth, and API keys, and implement data encryption for secure data transmission.
How can I hire API developers?
You can hire API developers at Hidden Brains UK with experience in developing APIs for various clients across different business domains.
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