Prerequisites: Things you need to know before using API AutoFlow
Lesson 1: What is API?
Creating your own API and integrating other people’s APIs are not hard
In the next few lesson, we’ll get you creating totally confident about APIs so that when someone asks, You can say, ”oh yeah! API, I know exactly what it is. What do you want me to do for you?”
Ok, Let’s get start.
If you work in an IT company, you most likely would have come across API.
You could have been neglecting the task, ”Oh no, let’s get the engineering team do it”
Or Trying to learning programming over and over again to learn it again after a few month
API is not supposed to be that hard.
If you have the right tools. I can guarantee you that you’ll be working with API right now.
Let’s for example look at Postman, an API testing tool.
Before Postman, you had to code up your own testing application or use things like CURL on the terminal.
Now, you just need to input the information about the API you want to test and the tool does it for you.
Creating your own APIs and integrating APIs are the same.
If you know the right tools, it makes the job so much easier.
And I will show you how through the following lessons.
I will try not to use technical terms in the first set of lessons until you get used to the concepts.
That’s because though important, terms can confuse you more than helping you.
For example, to a person starting to learn mathematics, rather than using the term Algebra, it’s much easier to understand if we call it an empty box.
Let’s start by some basics.
Maybe you’ve never created an API or even use an API before.
That is ok,
After finishing the next few lessons, you will have a very good understanding of APIs, how to use them and how to create them.
The most common analogy you’ll find on the web is how a waiter is like an API,
That it’s an interface between the customer and the Kitchen.
But what does that mean?
Things get a little clearer when you break down the definition
API stands for Application Programmable Interface. I’m sure you’ve heard this before.
Again, what does that mean?
It simply means ”It’s an interface to something”
What type of interface is it?
It’s an interface that you can program applications with
Let me explain
Let’s say you are looking to create an application that uses Facebook features such as login, posts, advertising, and so on,
You’ll be using Facebook APIs, They are interface that Facebook provides for you to use their features.
So, anything that has an interface to access its feature is called API.
Let’s say you have some information in a file.
When someone wants to access the information, you can send the whole file.
But that won’t be very useful to them.
In the restaurant example,
It’ll be like here’s the whole kitchen; Take anything you want and make anything you need.
The purpose of API is to provide access and information in a simple, controlled and secure way
For the users of your API, it’s like saying “Here’s our set menu. What can I get for you?”
And all the cooking happens at the back in the Kitchen
Let’s go back to our scenario where you have an excel file with bunch of information.
Or you could have them in a database, You might be a database engineer
Or some cloud service like dropbox or google cloud.
Using the the Kitchen analogy again.
You can think of your information as the ingredients.
Now, you need to take those ingredients and cook it in a way that your customer wants.
For example, the kitchen gets an order, it goes through a set routine or actions to prepare the dish. And serves it to the customer.
The exactly same thing happens in an API. When it gets a request, it goes through set of actions to prepare the response.
Once you have these routines and actions made for your dish, You create a menu.
Again, exactly the same thing happens with APIs. You create what’s called API documentation. Which is simply list of APIs you created.
That’s all that is to it.
Now, conceptually you know how to create APIs for the users to request and receive response.
What makes it hard is knowing how to code this up?
Eliminate code, things are very simple.
API AutoFlow does exactly that.
You can literally draw API you want to create.
Without any coding,
You can add a server and endpoint to receive any request.
And drag and drop the actions you want to take.
Here I have an API where I get information from a database
And provide just the relevant information.
You’ll learn how to create these APIs in the next few lessons.
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