Is a RESTful API a lazy program or one that initiates a quiescent state? If you are interested in the web and how the various technologies behind it work, you will want to know about the RESTful API.
What is API?
An API is an application programming interface that can be many things to many programmers. Essentially, the API is the middle man that allows you to connect one program to another.
Many programmers and developers will hide their core code to prevent others from stealing their hard work. If they want other programs to work with their program, they also have to make some code available to allow that interaction. That’s where APIs come in. A developer can create APIs that allow other programs to interact with their creations and provide additional functionality and interactions.
An API is written with a particular structure that is formatted in a certain way so that the resource understands and doesn’t use too many resources either. APIs are used by many websites, programs, and platforms, such as Facebook, Youtube, Google Maps, Android and iOS. Also, the most notable software almost always uses a programming interface. An API is a valuable way to add functions without freeing up your program’s code and structure.
How are the APIs used?
If you wanted to create a set of camera filters for a phone, you would use the Apple or Android Camera API to utilize your camera’s features instead of creating your own.
The alternative would be to create camera software for each operating system, which is a lot of work. Instead, you create an API that can communicate with your existing camera software and then send your filter data to and from it.
APIs can also be used to access system resources, interact with other systems, provide value-added functions to browsers, and more. Just remember that an API is a piece of code that communicates with other programs, and you should be fine.
Another example of how APIs are used is Google Maps. If you want to add a Google map to your website, showing your location, set up a Google Maps API with an HTTP GET query to extract the Google map.
In this way, you get what you want without Google having to do anything or allow access to the internals of its map platform.
By using an API, Google Maps servers can satisfy millions of queries in a short period of time without overloading the map server. The API queries are structured correctly to meet the needs using the least amount of resources. The RESTful API ensures that nothing can be written to the database and leaves no trace, letting the map server proceed to the next query.
API RESTful definida
REST stands for Representational State Transfer. A RESTful API is used to transfer data from a resource to a client. As an example, a search engine uses a RESTful API type.
Enter a search term and the engine queries the servers. The services transfer the corresponding data to your browser for your use. This is how the RESTful API works.
You already know that an API allows external programs to interact with other specific applications. A RESTful API allows a standalone program to communicate with a completely separate database, as in the search engine example above.
How the RESTful API works
What makes a RESTful API work is that it is stateless and can be cached. Stateless means that the query made by a RESTful API has no impact on the database. Also, the query is not logged (always). Nothing is stored in the database and cannot be written to the database. It is essentially a read-only procedure.
Being cacheable means that the API client can store the information for future use, so you don’t have to query the database every time.
For the web, the API will probably use the HTTP method to process a request. Common HTTP methods are GET, POST, PUT, and DELETE. In the search engine example, the RESTful API would use the HTTP method to GET the data of your search query from the search engine database to display the search results.
Another example would be a Twitter user search. If you put the url www.twitter.com/realDonaldTrump In a browser, the browser will use HTTP to GET Donald Trump’s data from Twitter and display it to you. Since Twitter usernames are unique, the query will return the details to your browser.
The RESTful API is a pretty elegant way to share information without affecting server performance or revealing too much. This tutorial only scratches the surface of how they work and integrate on the web, but it should give you a basic idea of how RESTful APIs work.
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