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  5. What is an API and How Do They Work?

Summary

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Overview
Difficulty
Beginner
Duration
9m
Students
75
Ratings
5/5
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Description

An API (Application Programming Interface) allows users or applications to interact with each other, making communication with the underlying service easier for both the service itself and the user calling it. This course covers the basics of what an API is, how it functions, and why you would want to use one.

Learning Objectives

  • Understand the basics of APIs
  • Learn about HTTP and internet communication
  • Understand the difference between HTTP and REST

Intended Audience

Solutions architects, developers, or anyone interested in learning about APIs.

Prerequisites

 A basic understanding of internet technology.

Transcript

In this lecture, we learned that an API is just a software intermediary that helps two applications talk to each other. This normally takes the form of a client, asking some backend service to return information, create something, or update some data.

APIs commonly operate and receive requests over HTTP which uses METHODs like GET, POST, PUT, and DELETE. These methods tell the server what type of operation it should be expecting.

We also discussed that a REST API is just an API operating over HTTP in a RESTful way. This means that a REST API has been architected to follow a specific set of rules that are guided by REST Principles like statelessness, cacheability, and having clear communication in hypertext only. 

Well, that's all I have for you, for this lecture. If you would like to learn more about creating an API in AWS I recommend learning about API Gateway. It is a very rich and fully featured service that helps you build robust APIs quickly.

 

My name is Will Meadows and I'd like to thank you for spending your time here learning about APIs.  If you have any feedback, positive or negative, please contact us at support@cloudacademy.com, your feedback is greatly appreciated, thank you!

 

About the Author
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Will Meadows
Senior Content Developer
Students
6079
Courses
31

William Meadows is a passionately curious human currently living in the Bay Area in California. His career has included working with lasers, teaching teenagers how to code, and creating classes about cloud technology that are taught all over the world. His dedication to completing goals and helping others is what brings meaning to his life. In his free time, he enjoys reading Reddit, playing video games, and writing books.