A Brief Guide to APIs for Enterprising Application Developers
by Analytics Insight
October 29, 2021
Before the pandemic, we were already on the right track to integrate all facets of our lives with technology; after the pandemic, when it is no longer safe to go out or do business in person, this process seems to speed up dramatically. For many, the future seems to lie in tech careers, whether it’s a career in UX or UI website design, online entertainment, or building a business as a developer of technology. ‘applications.
With the large sums of money app developers rake in each year, becoming an app developer can seem like the most lucrative of the options described above. The only thing is, for app development you won’t just need a concept that can benefit your users and go âviralâ; you will need a fundamental understanding of how your technology might need to work with other services to provide your users with a streamlined experience, and you will need to know how this process will work. Determining what types of data you want to share with other apps, what agreements with other developers will likely drive traffic to your app, and what types of functions your users will find useful will be necessary touchstones in the process of. application development.
If you don’t know any of this, being just a newbie in the app development industry, you’ve come to the right place. Here’s everything a growing application developer needs to know about application programming interfaces (or APIs).
What are APIs?
The current trend in customer-driven app development offers a streamlined and convenient experience that is easy to use and requires as little work as possible on the part of the consumer. Enter APIs, a way for developers to integrate their technology with other more firmly established parties and their resources. APIs are contractual agreements between two parties that dictate the services and data exchanged when the services of those parties are used together. As a result, APIs allow different services to work together under these pre-established conditions without any oversight from the application editors.
APIs tend to take a variety of forms and are used across a wide range of industries for a variety of purposes. Think of APIs as the glue that keeps our world digitally integrated: without them, you would have to use each service individually, independently of each other. You wouldn’t be able to track deliveries or the location of your rideshare driver because these apps should work without getting location data from services like Google Maps. Your phone probably wouldn’t be as useful, as services like your weather app would likely have some manufacturer-built infrastructure to get weather data. This reason alone is one of the many benefits of the Weather API. At this point, your phone’s manufacturer would probably prefer not to include the service at all.
The Extended Benefits of Using the API
Besides the obvious benefits, using APIs can provide a source of beneficial side effects for growing application developers, including:
- Expand the global reach of your brand: consumers prefer to use services that work in conjunction with services they already use, and thus connecting your app to platforms like Google or Paypal will increase the likelihood that once new users choose your app, they will continue to use it in the future.
- Encourage innovation in digital markets: With APIs, especially publicly-sourced ones, developers have a framework of resources at their fingertips, making it easy to move ideas from concept to creation. Developers are therefore free to go further or return home, keeping the market competitive and creative.
- Extend the reach of your existing revenue channels: for developers who already have apps in the market, building their own API and allowing new developers to use their service can also drive new traffic to their app, funneling a new revenue channel straight from that shiny new app into your waiting pocket.
App developers take note
Integrating APIs into your existing application framework is a great way to stay competitive in this connectivity-driven market. Make a plan, then put it into action: There is a vast network of actionable resources to help you quickly take your application from idea to marketable reality.
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