Technology has seamlessly integrated into every aspect of our lives, with emerging trends becoming the norm. One such essential element is the Application Programming Interface, commonly known as API. In today’s economy, APIs play a more significant role than ever before. Despite their ubiquity, many people overlook the pervasive influence of APIs in our daily routines, from purchasing tickets and logging into Facebook to making payments via PayPal.

However, the untapped potential of incorporating APIs into business operations is not widely recognized. The expansive realm of APIs holds immense value and is undoubtedly worthy of exploration. This article serves as a comprehensive guide to APIs and API development, offering insights into their significance and practical applications. So, let’s delve into the world of APIs and uncover their transformative impact.

What is an API?

APIs, short for Application Programming Interfaces, are software components facilitating connectivity between two programs. They enable websites and applications to access specific databases and engage in targeted interactions. Currently, GitHub hosts around 2 million API projects, while Programmable Web registers approximately 24,000 APIs.

According to the 19th edition of the Slashdata Developer Economics Survey, nearly 90% of developers incorporate APIs into their work, revealing that:

69% utilize external APIs

20% work with internal or private APIs.

Despite this widespread adoption, the full extent of APIs’ utility for businesses is not universally recognized. To illustrate their functionality, consider the process of purchasing movie tickets online:

While the apparent steps involve selecting a movie and entering payment card details, there’s a crucial behind-the-scenes collaboration facilitated by APIs. For instance, APIs link the website with the bank, ensuring seamless interaction between different programs during the transaction process. In simpler terms, APIs play a vital role in facilitating background collaboration between various systems.

Terminologies of API development

API Key:

An API key serves as a unique code or identifier utilized by computer programs to validate the identity of the calling program, the user, or the developer.


The term “Endpoint” refers to the specific points where communication occurs between an API and a server.


JSON, or JavaScript Object Notation, is the data format employed by APIs to exchange information on the internet. For instance, a server and a web application can seamlessly exchange data, as can two different applications.


The GET method enables the retrieval of data from a server at the specified resource.


POST serves as a mechanism for creating or updating resources by transmitting data to the API server.


OAuth is a framework and open standard authorization system designed to grant secure and limited access to APIs. It allows third-party websites and applications to access end users’ data without gaining access to their passwords.


Latency is the total time taken by the API interface in the process, spanning from the request initiation to the reception of the response.


API Rate-limiting refers to the practice of determining the rate at which an end user can access APIs. Essentially, it involves restricting the number of requests a user can make to an API within a specific time frame.

API Throttling:

Throttling is the process of managing the usage of APIs by users within a defined time period. This is often employed for API limiting purposes. For instance, if a limit of 1000 API requests per day is set, when a user reaches the 1001st request, the server will respond with an HTTP status code 429, along with the message “Too Many Requests” to the end user.

Tools for API Development


Apigee is a provider of API management services by Google, aiding developers and entrepreneurs in achieving success in digital transformation by transitioning towards an API integration approach.

 APIMatic and API Transformer:

These are additional well-known tools for API development. They provide advanced automated generation tools to construct high-quality Software Development Kits (SDKs) and code snippets from API-specific formats, transforming them into other specification formats like RAML, API Blueprint, and more.

API Science:

API Science is a tool primarily utilized to assess the performance of both internal and external APIs.


API-Platform stands out as an open-source PHP framework well-suited for the development of web APIs.


Auth0 serves as an identity management solution employed for authenticating and authorizing APIs.


ClearBlade is an API management provider that facilitates the integration of IoT technology into your operational processes.


GitHub, an open-source git repository hosting service, enables developers to manage code files, handle pull requests, practice version control, and engage in distributed collaboration. It also offers the ability to store code in private repositories.


Postman is an API toolchain designed to empower developers in executing, testing, documenting, and assessing the performance of their APIs.

Best Practices for Building the Right API

Implement Throttling:

Utilizing throttling for your application is a beneficial practice for redirecting excess traffic, providing backup APIs, and protecting against potential DoS (Denial of Service) attacks.

Treat Your API Gateway as an Enforcer:

When establishing throttling rules and implementing features such as API keys or OAuth, view the API gateway as the enforcement point. Think of it as a guardian that only grants access to legitimate users. The API gateway should enable encryption of messages, modification of sensitive information, and the ability to analyze and oversee how your API is utilized.

Allow Overriding HTTP Method:

To accommodate proxies that may only support GET and POST methods, it’s essential to enable your RESTful API to override the HTTP method. Achieve this by utilizing the custom HTTP Header X-HTTP-Method-Override.

Evaluate APIs and Infrastructure:

In the current time, obtaining real-time analysis is feasible. However, when suspicions arise about potential issues such as memory leaks or excessive CPU usage in the API server, it’s impractical to rely solely on developers. Instead, you can effortlessly address such situations by leveraging various tools available in the market, such as AWS CloudWatch.

Ensure Security:

Ensuring the security of your API technology is crucial, but not at the expense of user-friendliness. If the authentication process takes more than 5 minutes, it indicates that your API lacks user-friendliness. Utilizing token-based authentication can enhance security without compromising the user experience.


 Lastly, creating comprehensive documentation for your API is essential. This documentation for mobile apps should enable other developers to easily comprehend the entire process, leveraging the information to enhance user experience. In simpler terms, effective API development is significantly aided by robust documentation, reducing project implementation time and costs while boosting overall API technology efficiency.

API Development Cost

The development of a moderately simple API typically comes with an average cost of $20,000. This estimate takes into account the creation of a secure, well-documented, and fully-featured API. It assumes the involvement of an experienced API software developer collaborating with a reputable API development company.