What Is API Integration in the cloud?

By Barry Derksen|september 2, 2020

While API integrations don’t get as much hype as a programming language or software framework might, they are just as important to the software development process.

What is an API? An API is an application programming interface. APIs are a set of protocols that enable different software systems to connect and share data.

For example, ask Siri or Google Assistant to play a song right now on your phone. There’s a good chance that digital voice is connected through an API to a music program on your phone that’s willing to fetch the song you asked for.

This operation takes place when Siri or Google Assistant’s API interacts with the API of your music program. In this way, APIs work as software intermediaries between two or more technologies.

‘API integration’ is an explicit means of describing this connection. And as you can see, this can be a very critical part of any technical endeavor.

Software hardly exists in a vacuum, so these transactions that occur across one technology to the other more or less make these technologies useful in the first place.

Th simplest way to explain APIs is that while the user interface is meant for the user, a human being, APIs are made for the entirety of the application or the computer.

To elaborate, the human accesses the application. In web applications of websites, the API lies between the application and the server and responds to the human user accessing the application after they make a certain request.

Using the predefined protocols APIs are by definition given, the API will ask the server to fulfill the user’s request. To put it frankly, APIs are the middlemen of software.

They’re the waiter collecting your orders and serving them up to the kitchen, making sure you get your food fresh and hot!

Cloud apps are software applications where much of the back-end technology, like the logic and data is accessed online through the internet rather than through a local machine.

Considering that Amazon Web Services (AWS) — a cloud platform that provides servers, storage, networking, and more — controls over a third of the market, you’re probably more familiar with cloud apps than you think. Google Docs is a prime example of a cloud app.

API integrations are the standard for connecting cloud apps these days. Circling back to Google Docs, this is how one would consolidate their documentation with apps like Google Sheets, Slack, Discord, GitHub, and dozens of other cloud applications.

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