Don't Cry… Use An API! - Digital Hints

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Don't Cry… Use An API!

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

/ by Nurdin Budi Mustofa
Modern software development, design, and implementation is all very complicated. Of course, in the past, it was even harder. But, back then, fewer people were exposed to it. So, it wasn’t such a big issue. Small businesses often have to build their own tools in order to operate. A website, for example, can cost a fortune to have developed by a business. So, instead, a lot of people will use handy-dandy website builders like Wix and WordPress to do it themselves. But, this limits them to the options that come with the package they buy; smashing their freedom to pieces. To help you to get past this, this post will be teaching you how to use APIs. But, first, what exactly is an API?

Don’t Cry… Use An API!
API stands for application programming interface. And, it’s a tool created by the developers of software to enable other users to use the software on their website. Of course, APIs exist for normal software, too; like DirectX and Flash. But, the world of websites is where APIs reign supreme. In the past, the only option you would have would be to create the software yourself. But, this can be incredibly difficult. You’d have to learn about programming and computer engineering. And, you’d have to have a good background in networking, too. With an API, though, you just paste the code into the right places on your site. And, then, everything should be ready to go.

APIs have a huge range of uses. Websites like Facebook and Twitter have APIs which allow developers to display social feeds on websites. This is how websites like this blog have social media follow and like buttons, too. But, this is just scratching the surface. On most websites, APIs will be used for fonts, logins, payment handling, and much more. But, it’s not just front-end tasks that need to be performed; you also have to think about your business. APIs enable companies to have embedded analytics and research tools built into their website. This takes the need for additional software away, replacing it with one purpose built system. In reality, you never have to program a single thing on your website. With the help of tools like APIs, you can have everything done for you; it just needs to be put together.

And, this is the hardest part of this venture; putting the pieces together. Of course, there will be loads of guides to help you with this. But, you might have to do some digging for yourself. Most of the documentation provided with an API will be designed to be read by programmers. So, you might have to use websites like Youtube to see how other people have gotten their APIs installed. Each API will have small differences in that way that its setup. So, you have to be careful not to mix up the methods.

Hopefully, this post will inspire you to start working harder on this part of your business. In most cases, people will ignore this sort of resource. But, this is a mistake. When you’re doing things by yourself; you have to be prepared to use all of the tools available.

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