4 Popular APIs Businesses Use Daily

What is an API?

Before we dive into the quickest ways to incorporate some of the most popular APIs, let's first define what an API is.

An API (application programming interface) is a set of protocols, tools, and subroutine definitions for building applications and software.

The basic purpose of an API is to perform complex functions at a quarter of the time and effort typically needed.

Here's a real-life example, consider the electricity supplied to your apartment, house, or other dwellings.

To use electric appliances, all you need to do is plug it into a socket, and BAM! It starts working.

You don’t need to wire the appliance directly into the power supply, you just need to interact with the outlet to immediately get the electricity.

The outlet in the above example, is the API, it allows us to save tremendous time and needless complication, by offering an interface to interact with, and thereby simplifies the retrieval of desired results.

How does an API work?

Generally, data is stored on a physical database server.

To access and fetch the desired data stored on a server, you must know the query terms and the structure of a database.

That’s where an API comes in: it assists the user by receiving, processing, and answering the requests with the desired data to deliver some specific service or functionality.

There's undoubtedly hundreds of powerful APIs out there that uniquely align with your business needs, and could elevate your company to the next level.

Today however, we'll just be covering 4 very popular APIs that businesses very often need to operate, as well as the quickest ways to setup & utilize each respectively.

Stripe payment processor API:

Stripe is one of the most widely used online payment processors for debit and credit cards.

It serves as a payment processor enabling your application to make financial transactions.

The general steps involved in integrating Stripe's API within your HTML payment form are as follows:

  1. Get your Stripe API keys after stripe account creation. These payment keys are used when executing the above mention API queries (as a way to interact with your specific account).
  2. Create an HTML payment form, this form is used to collect all the user information.
  3. Use JavaScript for client-side card authentication and as a response handler. These are used for getting the unique token and authentication from the server.
  4. Utilize PHP for calculating processing charges.
  5. Store the payment in your database, and display the results appropriately.
  6. You will also be able to see successful transactions reflected on your Stripe account dashboard.

Integrating file upload with Dropbox API:

The Dropbox API lets users and developers access and use files in Dropbox.

It allows performing basic and advanced functionalities including text search, sharing and thumbnails.

The basic steps involved in integrating Dropbox API with your application are as follows:

  1. Register your website with Dropbox, and a unique app key will be generated for you.
  2. Leverage Dropbox's Chooser library, within your app or website, granting immediate access to files on the Dropbox.
  3. Modify Chooser according to your requirements.

Using Twitter API with PHP:

Twitter API is a very useful interface, that allows you to perform all desired Twitter operations smoothly from your website or web app.

The basic steps to integrate Twitter's API with your application are as follows:

  1. Get your Twitter API key by registering your app or website.
  2. Utilize RapidAPI to connect with the Twitter API.
  3. Select PHP form from the drop-down list available at RapidAPI, as the endpoint.
  4. Test the API functionality via PHP code, by performing basic Twitter operations.

Slack API integration for your web application:

Slack is an emerging communication tool for businesses and offices everywhere.

It’s similar to other chat applications for business, with the key difference being it's superior extensibility features.

According to technology experts, Slack is going to dramatically change office communication in the near future.

Slack API integration steps:

The basic steps involved in integrating Slack API with your application are as follows:

  1. Login to slack and register a Slack application. To register a Slack application you need to enter your web application info.
  2. Once the application is registered and you get your API credentials, enter these credentials into your application.
  3. The best practice is to create a data structure where you can store the authorization information.
  4. THis data structure would allow you to perform authorization checks, and the "Add to Slack" button on your website.
  5. The "Add to Slack" button will lead you to Slack's authorization page, where you can enter your credentials, and click the authentication button if everything looks good.

Aligning APIs To Your Business Needs

API is a great way to boost your business and automate business operations.

For example, APIs enable us to minimize human intervention, and achieve secure & operational money transactions.

Web applications all around the world are relying more and more on these powerful APIs.

If you want to enhance your business by incorporating an API that uniquely matches your business needs, than look no further.

Looking to upgrade your business today? If so, let's get in touch.