1 Introduction to APIs

This chapter covers

  • What are interfaces?
  • What are APIs?
  • What is resource orientation?
  • What makes an API “good”?

Chances are that by picking up this book you’re already familiar with the high-level concept of an API. Additionally, you probably already know that API stands for application programming interface, so the focus of this chapter will cover what these basics actually mean in more detail, as well as why they matter. Let’s start by looking more closely at this idea of an API.

1.1 What are web APIs?

An API defines the way in which computer systems interact. And since an exceptionally small number of systems live in a vacuum, it should come as no surprise that APIs are everywhere. We can find APIs in the libraries ...

Get API Design Patterns now with the O’Reilly learning platform.

O’Reilly members experience books, live events, courses curated by job role, and more from O’Reilly and nearly 200 top publishers.