API or Application Programming Interface is the functions and procedures that allow for the creation of applications by accessing the data or features of another application, operating system or other services. In simple words, API is the bridge that allows the transfer and sharing of data from one application to another. It is an essential tool of mobile app development.
REST API is a common term that you may come across when you search about APIs. It stands for Representational State Transfer which refers to the methods one can use to view, edit, add and delete data to and from an API.
Why is API important for mobile app development?
APIs are the backbone of any software. Without it, we can never access the vast amount of data sources needed to build an application. For example, Amazon’s API lets you access their product inventory while Facebook API helps you access the data you need to use to make your apps much better. There is an API available for different types of data sources. App developers can easily use these APIs, however, they may often need to write their own if the specification is not offered by the existing one.
How API is created?
An API consists of several layers like request layer, service layer, data access, object layer. The request layer deals with all the requests, validates and cleans any data that goes into the API. It, in turn, calls the service layer that holds all the business logic of the API. Service layer then calls the DAO( Data Access Object) layer that deals with the databases. If you do not plan the use of data ahead then you can end up with a messy application design.
API is an important medium of communication between computers and servers as well as software and servers. They are a major resource in mobile app development and it is, therefore, necessary that developers and programmers understand the importance of API. In the end, the API acts as a security layer and ensures that data is smoothly handled.