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API : A Powerful Invention for all application developers.

API is an acronym for Application Programming Interface. It is a powerful tool to make two different applications speak to each other. Let’s take a simple example Real estate to understand what is an API

In this scenario, Buyer uses Realtor as an API to communicate with seller. You might think why buyer is not talking to the seller and get the things done. Assume, if seller is speaking a different language and buyer cannot understand that language. That is when realtor comes into the picture and makes the transaction smoother. So in this scenario, realtor acts like an API between the buyer and seller.

We need only two parameters to enable smooth transaction

  • Medium -Phone

  • Format - Language

Lets delve into the computer world and see how this API works?

Assume there is a ABC App with a new user sign-in function:

The ABC app uses Facebook or Google Authorization as API for allowing the users to sign into the app. This is a Win-Win situation for both the user and the ABC app. Let’s see how.

  • The users do not need to create a separate user id and password.

  • The users do not need to store or secure the password

  • The ABC app does not want to create a overhead with maintaining the separate authorization mechanism.

  • It also increases the scope of the application as millions of users are using both Facebook and Google apps

We need only two parameters to enable smooth transaction.

  • Medium – Http/Internet

  • Format - JSON/XML

An API can support any platform , any language and DB. How cool is that? This means developers do not want to code each and every module but integrate the already existing functionality into his application and use it in a jiffy.

Let’s explore a Public API – Gender API What does it do?

  • It is not just a simple database lookup.

  • If it can't find a name in a specific country, it does a global lookup.

  • If it can't find a name in a global lookup, it performs several normalizations on the name to fix typos and cover all spelling variants.

  • It has implemented a multi-layer technology to provide the best results possible.

  • With millions of API calls per month, is the biggest platform on the internet to determine gender by a first name, a full name or an email address.

How does it work?

Lets say if we are developing an app that uses registration forms and the scope of the application is 1 Million users. Each time when the user enters her/his name, the app automatically pulls the gender data by contacting the gender API IO and populates the gender. This scenario avoids the developer to code a separate button for gender. Here is a sample HTTP request and response for Gender API.

Get gender by name:

pass the below command in the browser URL, it populates the gender by name.

  • Request - >

  • Response - > {"name":"mary","q":"mary","gender":"female","country":"US", "total_names":3, "probability":100}

Get gender by email id:

pass the below command in the browser URL, it searches by email id

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