What is an API?
To understand an API, within the context of online applications, you need to first understand how a server works. Think of a remote computer far away containing information you need. You put a request into this computer and you are provided the data in turn by a server. Simple enough.
But these servers aren’t humans and you aren’t using a telephone to make the request. This is where the API comes in.
An API is essentially a set of rules offering access to data located on a server – like a gatekeeper. Without an API, or sets of APIs, different servers are not able to effectively communicate with one another and exchange data – making accomplishing large tasks considerably more difficult.
But an API can be secure by design, if it is required to be so. But you must build them with security in mind from the get-go, with various levels of passwords and keys. This ensures nothing unintended gets into your system – the beauty of a secure API.