Terminologies Around API
9 min read
Here are some common terminologies used in the context of APIs:
- API: An application programming interface (API) is a set of rules that specifies how two software systems should communicate with each other. It defines the types of requests that can be made, the data formats that can be used, and the responses that should be returned.
- API endpoint: An API endpoint is a specific URL where an API can be accessed. An API may have multiple endpoints for different purposes. For example, an API may have an endpoint for retrieving data and another endpoint for creating data.
- API key: An API key is a unique identifier that is used to authenticate API requests. API keys are often used to track and control the usage of an API.
- API client: An API client is a software application that makes API requests to retrieve or modify data. An API client can be a web or mobile app, a browser extension, or a backend server.
- API server: An API server is a software application that receives API requests and sends back responses. The API server is responsible for handling the business logic and accessing the necessary data or resources.
- API gateway: An API gateway is a server that acts as an intermediary between API clients and the API server. The API gateway can be used to handle tasks such as authentication, rate limiting, and load balancing.
- API documentation: API documentation is a set of instructions and reference materials that explain how to use an API. API documentation typically includes information on the API's endpoints, data formats, authentication, and other details.
- API testing: API testing is the process of testing the functionality, performance, and security of an API. API testing may involve testing the API's endpoints, data formats, error handling, and other aspects.
- REST API: A REST API (Representational State Transfer API) is a type of API that follows a set of architectural principles for building web APIs. REST APIs use HTTP methods and a uniform interface to retrieve and modify data.
- SOAP API: A SOAP API (Simple Object Access Protocol API) is a type of API that uses the SOAP protocol to exchange data in a structured format, such as XML. SOAP APIs are often used in enterprise environments.
- XML API: An XML API (Extensible Markup Language API) is an API that uses XML as the data format for exchanging information. XML is a markup language that is used to structure data in a hierarchical format.
- OAuth: OAuth (Open Authorization) is an open standard for authorization that allows users to grant third-party access to their resources without sharing their passwords. OAuth is commonly used by APIs to allow users to authorize API clients to access their data.
- API management: API management is the process of designing, publishing, documenting, and monitoring APIs. API management tools can be used to manage the lifecycle of an API, including tasks such as security, documentation, and analytics.
- API economy: The API economy refers to the ecosystem of companies and developers that create and use APIs to build integrations and add value to their products or services. The API economy includes API providers, API consumers, and API intermediaries such as API marketplaces and API management platforms.
- API-first design: API-first design is a software development approach that involves designing and building APIs before creating the user interface (UI) or other consumer applications. API-first design allows developers to create a flexible and reusable API layer that can be easily integrated with different front-end applications.
- API security: API security is the practice of protecting APIs from unauthorized access and attacks. API security measures may include authentication, authorization, encryption, and rate limiting.
- API versioning: API versioning is the practice of creating and maintaining multiple versions of an API to support backward compatibility and allow for updates and improvements. API versioning is often used to allow developers to continue using the previous version of an API while they migrate to the latest version.
- API lifecycle: The API lifecycle refers to the stages of an API's development and deployment. The API lifecycle may include stages such as design, development, testing, deployment, and retirement.
- API sandbox: An API sandbox is a testing environment that allows developers to experiment with an API without affecting the production API or data. API sandboxes are often used for testing and development purposes.
- API mocking: API mocking is the practice of creating a simulated version of an API for testing and development purposes. API mocking can be used to test an API's functionality without relying on the actual API or its dependencies.
- API contract: An API contract is a set of rules and standards that defines how an API should behave and what data it should return. API contracts are often used to ensure that API consumers and providers have a clear understanding of the API's capabilities and expectations.
- API marketplace: An API marketplace is a platform that allows API providers to list their APIs and API consumers to discover and purchase APIs. API marketplaces can be used to facilitate the exchange of APIs and API-based services.
- API integration: API integration refers to the process of connecting different systems or services using APIs. API integration can be used to build integrations between an API and other systems, or to connect multiple APIs to create a seamless workflow.
- API security standards: API security standards are guidelines and best practices for securing APIs. Some examples of API security standards include the Open Web Application Security Project (OWASP) API Security Top 10, which lists the top 10 most critical API security risks, and the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS), which outlines security standards for APIs that handle payment card data.
- API integration testing: API integration testing is the process of testing how an API integrates with other systems or components. API integration testing may involve testing the API's integration with a database, third-party APIs, or a front-end user interface.
- API gateway pattern: The API gateway pattern is a software architecture pattern that involves using an API gateway to handle API requests and responses. The API gateway acts as an intermediary between API clients and the API server, and can be used to handle tasks such as authentication, rate limiting, and load balancing.
- API developer portal: An API developer portal is a website that provides documentation, resources, and tools for developers to use an API. API developer portals often include documentation, code samples, tutorials, and other resources to help developers understand and use an API.
- API design guidelines: API design guidelines are recommendations for designing APIs that are easy to use and understand. API design guidelines may include recommendations on naming conventions, data formats, error handling, and other aspects of API design.
- API-based microservices: API-based microservices are small, independent, modular components that can be developed and deployed separately. API-based microservices are often used to build scalable and flexible software applications, and are accessed through APIs.
- API security testing: API security testing is the process of testing an API's security measures to ensure that it is protected against threats such as hacks, data breaches, and unauthorized access. API security testing may involve testing for vulnerabilities such as SQL injection or cross-site scripting (XSS).
- API orchestration: API orchestration is the process of coordinating the use of multiple APIs to achieve a specific goal. API orchestration may involve creating a workflow that involves multiple API calls, or integrating multiple APIs to create a seamless user experience.
- API consumption: API consumption refers to the use of an API by an API client. API consumption may involve making API requests to retrieve or modify data, or using an API to access functionality provided by another system.
- API management platform: An API management platform is a software solution that helps organizations design, publish, document, and monitor APIs. API management platforms often include features such as authentication, authorization, rate limiting, analytics, and documentation.
- API façade pattern: The API façade pattern is a software design pattern that involves using an API to provide a simplified interface to a complex system. The API façade hides the complexity of the system and presents a simpler interface to API clients.
- API security best practices: API security best practices are guidelines and recommendations for ensuring the security of APIs. Some examples of API security best practices include using secure authentication and authorization methods, implementing rate limiting, and regularly testing for vulnerabilities.
- API testing tools: API testing tools are software applications that are used to test the functionality, performance, and security of APIs. API testing tools may be used to make API requests, analyze responses, and identify issues such as errors, timeouts, and security vulnerabilities.
- API design tools: API design tools are software applications that are used to design and document APIs. API design tools may include features such as visual modeling, code generation, and documentation generation.
API portal: An API portal is a website that provides a central location for accessing and managing APIs. API portals often include features such as documentation, developer tools, and analytics.
Can we skip to the good part?
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Important Links :
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