An API (Application Programming Interface) allows programs and/or websites to exchange information with each other. For example, Google has the Maps API in which the user sends a request to Google with certain parameters - a place, street, and a street number - which Google then processes. Subsequently, Google’s answer will come in the form of coördinates that can be displayed in Google Maps.
The same goes for our applications at Rocket Minds. Because of our APIs, our clients can read and process the data in their systems all by themselves. We also make connections with third-party APIs, such as bookkeeping packages for automatic invoicing, Google Maps, and social media. Most of these connections are made with Twinfield, Exact Online, SnelStart, and Mail Exchange.
API-connections are unavoidable. You're probably using them on a daily basis already without noticing. Think about logging into your favoriete website or registering for a webshop. Many websites offer you to do this via Facebook, LinkedIn or Google+, and this is all facilitated by API-connections!
At Rocket Minds we'd love to help you with making an API for your application! Simply contact us so we can explain to you how this works.
You can see an API as a standalone section of an application. Generally, these are not accessed via browsers, but via back-end code. In this, APIs almost always require authorization data in order to keep sensitive data secure.
So, at Rocket Minds, for example, we work on the back-end section primarily with the Laravel framework. This framework maintains a clear distinction between regular “web routes,” and the “API-routes.” The web routes are the familiar paths that are accessed via the web browser. An example is https://rminds.nl/contact. With the API-routes there is usually an /api/v1/identifier, for example https://rminds.nl/api/v1/fetch-data. Clicking this fictive url will give an error in your browser, because there are no authorization details sent along. When you look at the API-url you will see that it concerns an API and that it connects to v1, the first version of the API. This has the advantage that it prevents compatibility issues, for simultaneously with the v1, a v2 connection can be developed so differnt versions of the same app can simultaneously make use of the API connection without any interruption.
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