Application Programming Interface

What is an application program interface? The application programming interface (API) is a way for two or more computer programs to communicate with each other. In essence, it is a type of software interface that offers a service to connect other pieces of software. A document or standard that describes how to build or use such a connection or interface is called an API specification, but the term API is often used to refer to web APIs, which allows communication between computers that are joined by the internet.


The API or application program interface, in its most basic form, simply allows apps to connect with one another. When individuals use the term API, they often generalize and mean “a publicly available web-based API that delivers data, most commonly in JSON or XML.” The API is not the database or even the server; it is the code that manages the server’s access point(s). The API enables us to obtain information from outside sources.

Key Takeaways

    • APIs are used to expose data and functionality from software applications to third-party developers, commercial partners, and internal departments
    • The API is not the database or even the server; it is the code that manages the server’s access point(s).

What is an application programming interface?

In a business, an application programming interface, or API, is used to expose the data and functionality of their applications to third-party developers, commercial partners, and internal departments inside their organizations. Through a specified interface, this allows services and products to communicate with one another and exploit one another’s data and capability.

typing on a laptop to update API

Benefits of an API

Considering the complexity of today’s many systems and software, understanding the benefits of API production allows you to coordinate with system owners and other stakeholders to modernize systems and unlock sizable potential. Making data available via API makes migration, review, and cleanup faster and easier and improves data quality. APIs can provide greater opportunities in the workplace. Here are just some of these opportunities.

  • Efficiency: By granting API access, data may be generated once and instantly published or made available to several channels. Your data is ready for simple sharing and redistribution to reach more parties directly.
  • Wider Reach: APIs may be used to provide services and information to new audiences and in specific settings.
  • Leverage Government Assets: The federal government’s data and information are a national asset paid for by taxpayers. APIs may make data that was previously exclusively available to a select few more accessible to everyone.
  • Automation: APIs enable machines to handle workloads that would otherwise need manual interaction. It is possible to have a single content change spread across numerous areas of a site (or multiple websites) at the same time. However, APIs allow you to change workflows so that they may be completed with fewer steps and more efficiency.
  • Apps: Giving API access to information or a service enables that information or service to be used in mobile apps. This is especially important if you wanted to construct more than one app, since the API serves as a shortcut to the second, third, and fourth apps.
  • Partnerships: APIs make it easier, faster, and safer to exchange information with partners or agents.
  • Integration: APIs make it easier to integrate up-to-date information into your website or other apps. As a result, you may provide the user with a seamless and integrated user experience, as well as relevant and up-to-date information. The information is provided to them wherever it can be beneficial, not only where your team has had time to update the content.
  • Personalization: Your customers can benefit from the option to customize sessions with the most relevant information and services.

Ready to digitize and modernize your shipping operations?

See how Magaya can help.