APIs – Application Programming Interfaces – are vital tools to modern web and web app developers. APIs make life easier for these developers, as well as those who use the websites or applications.
An API works in a complex manner using a very straightforward concept. It simply acts as the gateway between two applications, where one of the applications requests a service from the other and receives it without actually having to set up that specific application in its own domain. You can think of it like UBER – it is a taxi service but does not own any taxi of its own. Instead, it contacts those who own cars and uses them to run their ride-sharing service.
Having established all that, it is needless to say that APIs are integral to any modern website or web app. However, with so many types and variations of APIs, which ones should you, as a developer or businessman, opt for while making your website? To help you out, here are 6 of the most widely used types of APIs that you can choose from.
#1 Payment Gateway
A payment gateway is a must-have API setup if you are running an e-commerce or online store. Usually, setting up a payment system of your own requires a lot of work. From ensuring security to keeping track of transactions, there is a lot to do. So by using a payment gateway or API, you can ditch all those complex steps, and just get on with it.
The payment gateway will come pre-packaged with the necessary tools and security details. Most gateways cover cards like Visa, MasterCard, and American Express, and are compatible with almost all US and global locations. Modern authentication systems make the transactions even more secured. Hence, you will have nothing to worry about once you have fully integrated the payment gateway.
#2 Weather API
Weather updates are some of the most popular APIs on modern websites. Everyone likes a quick weather update, and getting it from a news site or a shopping website is quite convenient.
While getting a weather API, you would want something that fetches real-time data from weather radars and provides regular updates. For that, you can check out the free weather API by Tomorrow at https://tomorrow.io/weather-api/. Apart from real-time updates, the platform also uses something called weather intelligence reporting, which provides users with different suggestions and advice based on the latest weather developments.
#3 Financial API
Financial APIs are common on news portals. They are basically a couple of long bars that extend the entire width of the website or app and display financial information like currency exchange rates or stock updates. Yahoo! Finance is a widely used financial API. It is reliable, accurate, and you can expect real-time updates.
A map API is very helpful in case you are running a store, restaurant, hotel, or any other business where your customers need to come to you. Google Maps is undoubtedly the best option available for this. It is smart, agile, and has a lot of features that you and your customer can make good use of.
#5 Covid Updates
People like staying updated on the latest COVID-19 situation around the world, or at least their country or locality. For that, they either have to go to their local health and safety services website, or Google it.
So you can do them a favor and have an API set up on your website that displays such updates. This will definitely grab the attention of your visitors, even if they did not have any intention to know about the latest COVID updates. After all, it is vital that they protect themselves as well as others.
#6 Calendar API
A Calendar API is a must if you are running a dashboard for your employees or maybe students. Using Google Calendar will allow them to sign in to their Google accounts, and then sync with the calendar on your website. That way, in case there is any news or update, or you have scheduled an event, they will be instantly notified via the Google Calendar app.
These 6 are some of the most intriguing types of APIs that you can find right now. And while there are others too, with many coming out every single day, these 6 will be more than enough for you to choose from for your website, depending on what the site or web app is about.