Application programming interfaces (APIs) have become a crucial tool in the development process, and as users, we encounter them daily while browsing the web. As examples of APIs, we can mention PayPal, which is integrated into various websites, social media services that enable posting from a single interface, account analysis tools that provide information such as Spotify preferences, etc.
Companies and customers can combine the different software and build the connection between the services to improve the internal workflows or provide more value for the clients. 20 years ago, an API was just classes/interfaces a developer could use to interact with a library/framework, mainly in the same language. As systems became more and more complex and diverse, SOAP quickly rose as a de facto standard in the Java/.NET community to communicate between systems.
However, Ruby on Rails showed that things don't need to be complicated to be helpful, and it integrated parts of Roy Fielding's dissertation of a Restful approach ( REST - REpresentational State Transfer). Since then, REST has become the standard for nearly every Web application. Many standard apps build REST APIs that allow users and developers to integrate with their services. Twitter was one of the pioneers of such an approach.
In 2015 Facebook (now known as Meta) introduced GraphQL - a query language for APIs. The technology has been used internally by Facebook since 2012. Today, GraphQL is a fundamental technology for popular platforms and companies such as Shopify , Instagram , Github , and Facebook.
Unlike Rest API, GraphQL has fewer limitations for delivering the exact information to the client from different databases by one request - which is really important for social media and the same projects. GraphQL's flexibility allows for specifying precise data requirements; while using Rest API, we will get all the available data based on the endpoint.
Why is API important for businesses?
In general, an API is a tool that allows various applications to "communicate" and help to integrate the software into company processes. As a simple example - more likely your web resource is using an analytics tool like Google Analytics, and you need to build custom reports of your data. The Google Analytics API allows you to export the existing data and metrics expressed in mathematical operations: ga:goal1_complete/ga:sessions to get the conversion rate for a goal. So in a few words, the API allows the following:
- Process automation. The workflows can be updated quickly and faster.
- Less load for developers. There is no need to create code from scratch - the services provide an API and share appropriate documentation with all available requests for the actions.
- Companies can improve their product. Sometimes the market requires us to have some functional "here and now." Building a solution from scratch is a guaranteed way to fall behind competitors. With API, companies can combine the new features without time-wasting.
Lingohub REST API
We here at Lingohub strongly believe that creating a vibrant community is crucial for our success. That is why we offer a REST API right from the beginning. With Lingohib REST API, you can improve your CI/CD process and perform different actions, like uploading/downloading resources, creating projects, inviting new collaborators, listing collaborators, etc. You can find a complete listing of requests in our API overview.
The documentation covers all necessary information about the entry points and shows how to use the API. We planned the API with your needs and requirements in mind, and it's now up to you to let us know what's missing and what can be improved.
Lingohub supports HTTP as well as Token authentication. Our API allows easy integration of the Lingohub into your development processes or quickly checking the projects' status without logging in. Choose the appropriate option, easily manage and switch it in your account, and set up the solution for you. If you have trouble using the API or have ideas or questions, simply create a ticket in our support center. Happy translating!
Further readings on good REST APIs: