The advancement of Internet has changed the way in which many companies, and also programmers, work.
The transition of applications to the web implies also moving the APIs to the internet, yet APIs, as they were conceived, were not adapted to this landscape.
An API (Application Programming Interface) is an interface that allows for the synchronization, linking and connecting of your own infrastructure through the development of cloud applications, allowing you to share your data with clients and other external agents as well.
Web-based APIs that worked better than others such as SOAP were created to address this issue. These applications are known as Representational State Transfer (REST) applications.
What is a REST API?
The Tech Target specialized portal defines a REST API as an API that “uses HTTP requests to obtain, set, publish or eliminate data.”
HTTP methods defined by the RFC 2616 protocol are used to get or recover a resource, to set or change the state of a resource, which may be a file, an object or a block, and publish or create resources, or delete them.
According to many sources, it is one of the most widespread standards today for the creation of internet service APIs.
What are its benefits?
Using a REST API instead of other alternatives such as SOAP offers many advantages to organizations, according to different companies and developers working daily with this API:
You can use a REST API independently from the type of language or technology that you are using to develop your project. It works with any kind of technology that you feel comfortable with or that you can use to decrease your development times, or simply the one that you like the most or meets the needs of your project.
While you maintain the same operations and functions in your REST API, it doesn’t matter if, in the future, you decide to change the technology you have used to implement the REST API – it can continue working without issue.
Developers using REST APIs benefit from its versatility. This is an advantage that they do not get with either SOAP or gRPC (Protocol Buffers) – a technology that has recently started to see use in the programming of APIs that works well for mounted applications, but is too rigid during programming.
Furthermore, by using RESTful APIs, programmers can use any language and work without the need to install any additional software or library, because they can leverage existing protocols. This offers significant flexibility and is one of the greatest advantages of this type of API.
The flexibility offered by a REST API allows developers to better conform to the needs of each company.
Scalability and independence. Separates the client from the server
The protocol used in RESTful APIs makes the server’s user interface and the data storage work independently. This separation offers advantages to developers.
The main advantages of separating the client and the server is that this improves the portability of the interface to other types of platforms, the projects are more scalable and the different development components can evolve independently, provided that the API interface is maintained.
This separation allows for the development of different front end in a single back end. As many as necessary can be developed, whether for a website; an iOS, Android or Windows 10 app; or any system that may emerge in the future.
You might also be interested in: How Big Data and Artificial Intelligence work together
How can they be used?
In a landscape in which the cloud is gaining importance, APIs are becoming increasingly useful for the development of web services. And thanks to the advantages that we have already discussed, REST APIs are the best suited for this environment.
These APIs allow users to connect and interact with cloud services, and increasingly used by major internet companies (Amazon, Google, Linkedin, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.) and they are compatible with a great variety of REST API services.
This is an application by Github, the popular online repository service. Using this application, users can view a repository or manage a project, among other functionalities.
This social network has a RESTful API that allows its applications to retrieve user accounts or popular photos & videos with certain labels.
This application, especially designed for small and mid-size companies, can improve the communication with WhatsApp clients in a simple, safe and reliable way.
Telegram offers two types of APIs for developers: the Bot API, which allows for an easy development of programs that use Telegram messages for an interface, and the Telegram API and TDLib, which allows for the creation of personalized Telegram clients.
The Facebook API allows for the creation of applications that better manage the data of the Facebook social network.
Nexus Integra API
Nexus Integra offers a standard and open REST API to develop or connect vertical applications and solutions that are specific for each sector. The third layer of Nexus Integra, Nexus Apps, integrates vertical applications over Nexus Core using a public web-based REST API that allows for establishing a direct bidirectional line of communication with Nexus Core, interacting and exchanging information. This allows the information to flow and be consumed both in vertical applications and in other Nexus Integra native applications, allowing for combinations that help with decision making.