Home > Other Devices > What is An API?

What is An API?

The whole world has moved from the industrial age to the era of scientific and technological information, and many industries in this era are entering the era of scientific and technological informatization, especially the information technology industry, which requires continuous innovation and continuous development to adapt to the changes of this era and meet people's needs. The development of software technology is coordinated with hardware and networks. For example, the spread of smartphones and 5G networks has promoted the development of mobile application software technology. APIs, or Application Programming Interfaces. The use of APIs accelerates application development by enabling developers to build applications quickly and efficiently. In the historical evolution of API development, we can see the changes in technology and market conditions, and the process of APIs playing an important role in driving application and service innovation, industry ecology, and business model. 

API Development Process



In the seventies and eighties of the last century, in the early days of computer science, different applications had little other way than to exchange data through shared memory. However, when networks began to evolve, this approach could not meet the demand for network connectivity. The original API was also intended to allow developers to integrate their software with other applications using APIs. Since then, some vendors have started offering cross-platform APIs, but these APIs are often targeted at limited hardware and software environments, and cross-platform API access remains cumbersome due to inherent differences in hardware and operating systems.



By the end of the last century and the beginning of the century, with the rise of the World Wide Web, APIs began to change significantly. The original Web APIs quickly became popular, and these APIs often used SOAP for communication. The complexity of SOAP makes it difficult to use in practice, and it requires more processing time and network resources, so the more efficient and lightweight RESTful (Representational State Transfer) API design concept naturally became mainstream. Because the protocol is simple, easy to understand and use, able to withstand higher loads, more responsive, and less susceptible to network failures, it quickly became the primary means of API interaction.



In the context of cloud computing and mobile device adoption for more than a decade. Enterprises are beginning to realize the importance of integrating their business systems and data through APIs. During this period, the e-commerce API is a typical example of a connecting api that can ensure the real-time accuracy of product information and inventory status, thereby avoiding out-of-stock and slow-selling and optimizing inventory management; Real-time tracking and monitoring can be achieved to better improve customer satisfaction, optimize logistics costs and distribution efficiency; Develop more effective marketing strategies that merchants can use e-commerce APIs to capture user behavior data and use this data to push personalized recommendations and offers to target customers.


According to the current API, it has entered the information industry in the e-commerce field in many aspects. At the same time, with the popularization of IoT applications, interoperability, and collaboration between applications may be greatly improved, and APIs will become one of the core technologies necessary to achieve application integration and service expansion.



In general, after nearly half a century of development, APIs have gone from narrow information processing technology to now connected with major enterprises and connected to multiple fields, reflecting the development of technology. In the future, we can foresee that API technology will continue to evolve and update, covering a wider range of scenarios and application areas, accelerating the efficiency of application development and service delivery, and driving the continuous development of the digital era.