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What are APIs & How do they work?

APIs are like neutrons

Think of APIs as the ‘neutrons’ of the digital world.

In very simple terms they allow businesses and people to connect their digital platforms and activities with other existing digital platforms and activities, without re-inventing the wheel every time. Facebook ‘share’ is an example of a simple API that everyone will be familiar with.

APIs made today’s generation of computing via smart phones possible. I’m sharing this article by ‘’ firstly to help demystify APIs, but primarily to highlight how important it is to get APIs working correctly to deliver the right user experiences.

How many times have you clicked ‘allow’ when accessing a new app, only to find yourself A). not logged in, B). shut out of the app altogether, or C). inadvertently sharing your most private conversations with the world?

Perhaps I am oversimplifying the technical complexity of these solutions, but sometimes, maybe we’re just too clever for our own good. With all this incredible technical sophistication, it’s easy to forget that users just simply value simplicity.

Why Do You Need An API?

An API is the cornerstone of what is widely seen as the next iteration of business development, where having a well-developed API is poised to be the way in which business relationships are established and maintained in an online, 24/7 digital economy. A decade ago, businesses were still working to understand the importance of having a website for doing business. Today, businesses are beginning to understand the similar importance in having an API.

Whether your API provides programmatic access to information that is already on your website like company directory or product catalog, providing secure access to trusted partners, an API is becoming essential for operating in current markets, and effectively competing.

You currently put products and services on the Internet for your human consumers to access in the form of websites and applications. APIs are the wholesale version of a web presence, allowing others to access and integrate your data and resources into their public or private sites and applications.

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