Web API is the improved version of the web application to provide services on modern devices like laptop, mobile, and others. Nowadays, every type of business tries to connect with IT solutions to improve their revenue. Web applications can be identified as very popular, since there is no requirement for new software installation or updates. As the enhancement of the web application usage, the importance of the Web API appears. Therefore today, we are going to discuss about Web APIs, examples for Web APIs, importance and limitations for web APIs.

In order to understand web APIs, first we will get a brief idea about the APIs. API acts as an interface which has a set of functions that allow users to access specific features or data of an application, operating system or other services through the interface. Simply saying, web API is an API for web. Actually, Web APIs can be developed using many technologies such as Java, .NET etc and can be accessed using HTTP protocols. Web APIs are used in either web servers or web browsers. If an application is to be used on a distributed system and to provide services on different devices like laptops, mobiles, etc then web API services are used.

As examples for popular web API;

  • Google API
  • Facebook API
  • Youtube API
  • Wordpress API
  • Twitter API
  • Amazon API
  • Flickr API
  • Salesforce API

Now let’s see why we use web APIs. Web APIs are very useful in implementation of RESTFUL web services using .NET framework as well as it helps in enabling the development of HTTP services to reach out to client entities like browser, devices or tablets. Actually, web APIs can be used with a native application that does not support SOAP but require web services. The web APIs are known to be best in creating resource-oriented services and For developing light weighted and maintainable web services. It provides good performance as well as fast development. Web APIs are most appropriate when using devices that have tight bandwidth or having a limitation in bandwidth.

Although we can see there are so many good things about web APIs but there are few limitations that can be identified. Since web APIs are more general, it is not customisable. Therefore, eventually, web AIPs will be replaced with the organization oriented and customized solution.

Software Engineering Undergraduate at University of Kelaniya