Isolated systems and standalone solutions wreck user experiences and drive costs and inefficiencies. REST APIs empower developers to build a highly responsive and scalable website and app functionalities based on existing solutions but not restricted to their structure.

APIS for Business Success

Application Programming Interface (API) is a solution for integrating different technologies. It helps software and systems to share data and work in synchronicity.

A typical business environment has an average of 35 different tech systems and components. API-driven strategies accelerate app development while improving revenue and delivering better brand experiences to customers.

Without APIs, the business environment can be chaotic, and the customer experience torpedoed to the very bottom. APIs work in the background to make information and technology solutions more user-friendly, responsive, and reliable.

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Functions of APIs

  •  Web applications rely on APIs to link front ends to back-end data and functionality.
  • Login APIs connect social accounts to websites and automate the user authentication process.
  • All payment systems communicate with e-commerce stores and other client sites via APIs.
  • Behind the scenes, businesses use APIs to integrate and share data between different business applications.

REST APIs

REST or Representational State Transfer is a set of rules that apps use for integration and communication over the internet. REST APIs or RESTful APIs operate by these rules.

The essence of these guidelines is standardized representation. When a client (the software or individual using the API) requests a resource (data the API can provide), the server relays back that resource in a format that’s useful and knowable by the client.

Consider a website that uses a rest API program to connect with YouTube. When this program (the client) asks YouTube about a specific file, YouTube servers respond with comprehensive resource data that can be automatically parsed and used on the website-visitors can directly play the video on the site.

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Principles of REST API

Client initiated interactions

Based on the REST architecture, clients and server communications are one way. Only the client can make a request to the server, which then sends a response back to the client.

The client software can be updated without impacting the servers, and server content can be modified without affecting clients.

Standardized communication

A uniform interface is a prerequisite for client-server communications in REST APIs. Standard formatting of messages eliminates the risk of discrepancies when requests and responses have to be translated.

Stateless interactions

All requests for resources within a REST API should be independent. The server interprets each request as a brand-new task and doesn’t recall anything about past requests.

Stateless interactions save server memory and guarantee reliable performance even when software grows and the number of requests increases.

Layered system

Client and server communications in REST APIs tend to be multilayered with many security and traffic distribution servers. But the REST framework requires all communication in these layers to follow a single format so that individual server updates do not affect request-response.

Cacheable data

Another powerful concept in REST APIs is cacheable data. When the client needs the same resources, the data from the server can be cached on the client site. This saves bandwidth and decreases load time, delivering a pleasant user experience.

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The WordPress REST API

The WordPress REST API works by the above principles to help builders expand the capabilities of their websites. Further, pillaring on this API, businesses can build entirely new applications that leverage the WordPress platform’s features.

A few years ago, businesses needed a plugin to access the functionality of the WordPress REST API. Starting with Version 4.4, WP REST API became an inherent part of the software. You no longer need a plugin to use it.

A few years ago, businesses needed a plugin to access the functionality of the WordPress REST API. Starting with Version 4.4, WP REST API became an inherent part of the software. You no longer need a plugin to use it.

As is the case with other REST APIs, the WordPress REST API can make four types of requests:

  • GET: To obtain a resource.
  • POST: To build a new resource.
  • PUT: To update a resource.
  • DELETE: To remove a resource.

REST API Endpoints

Endpoints are part of the requests sent by the API. Developers must know what these endpoints are successfully using the API in their projects.

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REST API Authentication

Cookie authentication is the primary authentication users need with the WordPress REST API.

How to Start Using the WordPress REST API

Provided you have a fully set up WordPress site, you are good to go. For example, to get your WordPress posts in JSON format, enter the following command (using your actual address) in the browser:

GET yourwebsiteurl.com/wp-json/wp/v2/posts

To get a specified post using its unique ID, you would need to use an endpoint as below:

GET yourwebsiteurl.com/wp-json/wp/v2/posts/534

To add metadata to a post using the REST API, you can use the POST request:

POST yourwebsiteurl.com/wp-json/wp/v2/posts/534/meta?value=newmetadata

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The Potential for Business

The REST framework has dramatically evolved since its introduction in 2000. Today REST is empowering connections, communications, and data transfer online from media players to payment getaways.

  • Critical advantages of REST APIs include:
  • Flexibility: They can handle multiple requests and transmit data in many formats.
  • Scalability: REST APIs can handle increasing forms of requests with agility.
  • Usability: This technology is built on other existing web technologies and is thus easy to use

Technology enablement

The REST APIs spearhead application integration and data communication between apps and websites.

Faster time to market

REST APIs slash down costs and development effort, leading to a faster monetization of apps. Developers can build apps that rely on the functionality that other apps already provide.

Seamless experiences

Seamless communication between apps results in enjoyable user experiences across websites, eCommerce platforms, and software. APIs capabilities include faster logging in on sites, automated form filling, and speedier payment on-site.

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REST API case study: CardPointe Gateway implementation

The CardPointe Gateway API provides businesses a way to accept different forms of payments using RESTful protocols. The web service works on the JSON method of data encoding and uses the HTTP network protocol.

Businesses can use the GET request to inquire about a settlement status. PUT, and POST requests are used to create and update payment requests. DELETE requests remove a stored profile. Developers can leverage frameworks and tools they’re familiar with to build CardPointe’s payment capabilities on their site.

The REST API offers unmatched flexibility in integrating payment processing that helps customers checkout with their data stored on CardPointe’s servers.

In summary

APIs have become critical in our daily lives. RESTful APIs open a whole new world of flexible, scalable, and seamless integration opportunities for streamlined business functions.

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