What is a Web API?
Actually API is kind of interface which is having a set of functions. These set of functions will allow programmers to acquire some specific features or the data of an application. Web API is a framework for building HTTP services that can be consumed by a broad range of clients including browsers, mobiles and tablets.
The web API can be developed by using different technologies such as java, ASP.NET, etc. Web API is used in either a web server or a web browser. It works more or less the same way as MVC web application except that it sends data as a response instead of html view.
Why want to Use Web API?
Clean Data: Web APIs provide data in clean, programmatically accessible formats so No need to convert the data from one file format to another and no need to scrub out bad entries and no need to load it into your local system.
Timely Data: Web APIs are capable of providing data that is refreshed much more often than you can achieve with pulling, cleaning, and loading files.
Correct Data: Web APIs always pull data from a single, authoritative source so you know you’re getting the “true” information.
Automation: with APIs, computers rather than people can manage the work. Through APIs, agencies can update work flows to make them quicker and more productive.
Application: because APIs can access the app components, the delivery of services and information is more flexible.
More scope: with an API an application layer can be created which can be used to distribute information and services to new audiences which can be personalized to create custom user experiences.
New data available: an API allows all of the information generated at the government level to be available to every citizen, not just a select few.
Efficiency: when access is provided to an API, the content generated can be published automatically and is available for every channel. It allows it to be shared and distributed more easily.
Integration: APIs allow content to be embedded from any site or application more easily. This guarantees more fluid information delivery and an integrated user experience.
Personalization: through APIs any user or company can customize the content and services that they use the most.
Adaptation: needs change over time and APIs help to anticipate changes. When working with this technology, data migration is supported better, and the information is reviewed more closely. In short, APIs make service provision more flexible.
Web APIs allow a specific audience to use data more quickly, easily and efficiently when they are looking to do something specific with the information.” Developers not need to code from scratch for any data interchange. Just need to use the Web API from the source and can keep using its services which will be fact and reliable.
Top 10 Most Popular Web APIs
- Google Maps
- Google Search
Limitations of web APIs
Web is a better choice for simpler, light weight services.
- Response generated in Json and XML format using MediaTypeFormatter.
- Complete Support for routing
- It works the way HTTP works using standard HTTP verbs like GET, POST, PUT, DELETE for all the crud operation.
- It can use any text format including XML and is faster than WCF.
- Supports to Model binding and Validation, transfer of data, Open Data Protocol and URL patterns and http methods.
- It cannot directly return an error code like 404 error.
- Restful APIs are related to latency in request processing times and bandwidth usage but that depends on your network and the actions you are performing.