An API’s primary purpose is to serve as a communication link between two separate systems that operate independently of each other. APIs provide the ability for these two separate systems to work together effectively, and they can be both free and paid services. Paid APIs are great for businesses, because they streamline processes and help track data. On the plus side, free APIs are perfect for individuals, since they can be used to access online content. Here are the most common API use cases:
1. Database API
A database API is a set of programming instructions that allow the software to interact with a database.
This can include retrieving data from the database, adding new data to the database, or updating existing data.
The database can be open source like MongoDB, MySQL, Postgress, or proprietary like MSSQL or Oracle.
2. Operating Systems API
An operating system API is a set of programming instructions that allow the software to interact with the operating system.
This can include tasks such as opening and closing files, displaying information on the screen, and managing memory.
For instance, every OS has its API.
Windows, Linux, and macOS all include their APIs (usually called kernel API).
3. Remote API
A remote API is an API that allows access to data and resources stored on a remote server.
This type of API is typically used by mobile applications that need to access data from a server that is not located on the same device as the application.
The remote API can also be used by web applications that need to access data from a server that is not located on the same server as the web application.
4. Web API
A web API is an interface that allows you to access the data and functionality of a web application.
It is typically used to access data from a database or to perform some action on the data.