Acronyms Are Hard: API

By March 21, 2019 July 12th, 2019 Acronyms Are Hard, Blog

Acronyms Are Hard: API Application Programming Interface

Acronyms can be hard to figure out. If you want proof, look no further than our Acronyms Are Hard Series! When jumping in between a few different industries, these seemingly harmless terms can lead to confusion, mass hysteria, or worse potential problems with the end result.

Generally speaking, we do our best to define acronyms if we even use them at all in order to make sure that we don’t run into those issues. After we’ve been working on the project for a while all the appropriate acronyms will be pined to the top of the projects and/or burned into our minds so we’ll never forget them. That is until the next project comes around and we need to re-learn everything.

The more we get into talking about programming and integrations with various platforms, the more we get talking about API’s. We’re going to do our best to define this and then tell you how it’s used in a way that non-programmers can understand.

API

API stands for Application Programming Interface. Again this is used when trying to interface between multiple programs. An API is a set of subroutine definitions, communication protocols, and tools for building programs.

What does this mean for non super smart programmers? You’re using an ERP, and you want to interface with a software platform, let’s call it Google Drive as it’s really common. We want to be able to push information from a form into the ERP.

Sounds simple, right? If you’ve learned anything from this blog, you know that nothing is simple.

How do we go about getting the information out of a form in Google? Hopefully through an API. We say hopefully because Google’s API is created by Google. The access that they give everyone is based off what they want/the way the wind is blowing. (Here’s an example of Google changing their Maps API and the developers losing their mind.)

Super Basic Version

An API is an Application Programming Interface. It’s used for connecting and push/pull information from one program to another.

 

What else do you want to see? We do a lot of work with API’s and could put together more in-depth information and tutorials if you’re interested.