API Glossary: Introduction to the Application Programming Interfaces

Ali Sozkesen
Ali Sozkesen 08 December 2020
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API (Application Programming Interface) is an interface that allows us to access an application or a platform from the backend without a user interface and perform various operations. You can see the list of an application’s functionalities and directly make requests and get responses with an API fast and easy.

learn more about api's (application development interface)

Thanks to the APIs, you can perform external operations on your mobile or web application. You can increase the functionality of your projects and perform tasks without writing your own code with the help of APIs. The language selector or log in with social media accounts that we frequently see in applications can be given as examples of interactions enabled by APIs.

Table of contents:

AJAX

It stands for “Asynchronous JavaScript and XML.” AJAX’s goal is to dynamically display the required data or send data to the server without reloading the entire page. Using AJAX helps increase the speed, usability, and interaction of web pages. It has been developed by combining many technologies such as HTML, CSS, DOM, XML, Javascript, XML, and HttpRequest.

API Access

API Access is the process that allows calls to access APIs with authenticated login information. When a user wants to make an operation for any reason, access is required. Necessary security checks on the API providers’ side starts with the request for access. Access is then granted depending on the identity of the requester. API access is the process of accessing and using the API.

Authentication

what is authentication?

Authentication is the process of identity verification and then granting the determined authorization. Thus, it provides at least a certain level of protection in computer systems, networks, databases, websites, and other network-based applications and services.

Client

The client is the application that the user uses to perform various operations. Operations can be performed as a client from various devices such as computers and mobile phones. Tasks are assigned to the server by the client. The client can make requests and wait for a response to the extent permitted by the server.

CRUD

Frequently used database operations are Create (C), Read (R), Update (U) and Delete (D). The actions of adding, reading, updating, and deleting records in a database are expressed with the acronym “CRUD”.

cURL

It is a software used to transfer data for a specific URL with various internet protocols. cURL supports protocols such as HTTP, HTTPS, FTP, IMAP, and POP3 for API users. cURL can work platform-independent. Thanks to cURL, you can craft requests with different protocols to servers and perform operations.

HTTP

what is http?

HTTP (HyperText Transfer Protocol) is a protocol that shows how the information will be transferred between the user and the server. There are rules regarding the data exchange between servers and users in the internet network. HTTP provides this scheme. The protocol allows websites to be viewed. Browsers such as Chrome, Mozilla, Internet Explorer are used to use the HTTP protocol.

HTTPS

HTTPS (Secure Hypertext Transfer Protocol) It is a protocol that aims to establish a secure connection between servers. It is not possible to connect securely to a website with HTTP. HTTPS makes it possible to connect to websites such as HTTP in a secure way.

JSON

It is a data format created for Javascript applications. JSON stands for Javascript Object Notation. JSON allows us to send and receive data in smaller sizes while exchanging data. It has Number, String, Array, Boolean, Object, Null data types. JSON data consists of two parts, key, and value. Keys must be strings and consist of a string of characters created with quotation marks. Value is the JSON data type.

REGEX

It stands for “Regular Expression”. Regex is a search pattern that works with texts. Regex can be used in many programming languages. It is used to validate and search text in a flexible and short way with specific rules.

REST API

REST provides communication between client and server. It is an architecture that works over the HTTP protocol and is frequently used today. CRUD operations can be done with REST services and GET, POST, PUT, and DELETE methods. It’s compatible with data formats such as JSON, XML. REST structure is flexible, lightweight, and easy to use. Since it supports JSON data structure, we can reduce the size of the data sent between client and server. REST is suitable for applications where data size is important.

SDK

SDK (Software Development Kit) consists of software tools for various operations. It includes libraries, tools, documents, APIs, documentation. With SDKs, applications can be developed more efficiently and with less cost by saving software development time.

Server

Servers are special computers designed to serve the different requests from other devices or clients in any network environment. Files, applications, user information, and various data can be accessed through the server. The server evaluates the client's requests and can perform these requests within the assigned permissions and authorization. After fulfilling the incoming request, the response is returned to the client.

SOAP

It is one of the popular methods used for web service development. It is a protocol that standardizes the structure of the message data carried between the client and the server. SOAP stands for Simple Object Access Protocol. SOAP uses XML format and generally sends messages via HTTP protocol. SOAP consists of four parts; Envelope, header, body, fault. The envelope is the mandatory and the root element of the SOAP structure. The header part is used for authorization and configurations. The body is the most important part, and the message and parameters are transmitted in XML format. The fault contains the errors returned as a result of the request, and if an error occurs, the error code and description is included in the fault.

Swagger

Swagger Rest API is a contractual standard required to develop and a technology that provides auxiliary tools that function within this framework. Swagger provides convenience in API design, development, documentation, and testing stages with the standards and tools it offers.

URL

URL (Uniform Resource Loader) keeps the IP addresses used by the server contacted in line with our request in the text in a way that we can understand. IP addresses are difficult information for users to remember and use. With a URL, this difficult information is easily used. URLs consist of protocols, domain, and page path.

URI

URI (Uniform Resource Identifier) ​​points to the location of the resource under the URL. URI is the address of the exact location of resources such as documents, images, videos.

WSDL

WSDL is short for Web Services Description Language, and the standard that defines the information required to use the web service. WSDL is prepared in XML format.

XML

what is xml?

XML stands for Extensible Markup Language. It is a markup language that standardizes data communication between platforms that exchange data using the internet. It is often used for data transmission. XML is used in many areas such as transferring databases, creating sitemaps for websites, defining dependencies in software packages, creating file systems. Data are exchanged on many issues in the internet environment, and data properties cannot be protected. It prevents problems experienced during XML data transfer and allows easy, fast, and standard data exchange. XML is a language made up of tags.

YAML

It is a markup language that can be used with many languages and is easy to read and process. With YAML, which is used for configuration and data storage, data can be shaped, and data structures can be processed. YAML can be used to transfer data between different programming languages.

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Ali Sozkesen
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Ali Sozkesen

A marketing professional with software development skills.