The Advantages of Web API

by Christina Hadley

The advantages of using an Application Programming Interface, or API, in Web development are based on an API's ability to interact with Web pages. Programmers use API technology to write applications that provide useful services to your site's visitors, such as access to remote database content. Some APIs make it possible to display content from eBay, Digg, Google Maps and Facebook, while others allow you to accept online payments or provide photo print fulfillment services. Ultimately, an API's advantages depend on your Web development needs and the particular API you choose to use.

External Database Access

APIs allow website visitors to access remote, password-protected databases. Your API password and username authorizes permission for information to be exchanged between your website and the APIs database-driven resources. An API's functions include connecting, fetching and closing the access to its affiliated server as necessary.

Convenience

Analyze the areas of your website's services to discover features that an API can handle. The right API can function a lot like outsourcing in the sense that you can use an API to manage parts of an online business. Tasks that are helpful but not essential to the core of your business can be addressed by an API; for example, you can use an API to handle tasks on your behalf so that you can focus on the most critical functions of your business.

Security Protection

Some API applications access additional servers as necessary. Protection from security-related vulnerabilities is an API-specific advantage worth investigating as you choose an API for your website. An API that won't require you to expand trust to multiple remote servers can maintain your site's security. Examine the security risks associated with an API of interest before incorporating one into your site.

Seamless Site Integration

APIs can blend in with your existing site design. Such seamless integration of API-related services preserve the integrity of a website design. Several API's allow you to control design elements such as color, character sets, button styles and font sizes. Your API scripts must be visually flexible enough to conform to your needs while contributing to a comfortable online experience.

About the Author

Christina Hadley holds a Bachelor of Arts in design. She writes copy for an assortment of industries. Her work also appears in the "Houston Chronicle" small business section. Hadley is a UCLA-certified computer professional. The British Museum recently featured one of her digital images in an exhibit.