Increasingly used, open IPAs have given rise to a truly booming economy. These programming interfaces have contributed significantly to the explosion in the volume of data on a global scale. Find out everything you need to know about the link between open APIs and Big Data.
A API or application programming interface in computing is a set of classes, methods, functions, and constants that act as a façade to allow one software program to provide services to other software programs.
What is an open API?
An open API is an API available free of charge and freely via internet. Technology giants such as Google and Yahoo offer many open APIs for example for weather forecasting or traffic management. The Google Maps API is used by many third parties such as Uber.
Similarly, a startup can develop an in-house software and then offer it as an open API. Third parties will then be able to access this software and use it as they see fit under the conditions set by the startup. Generally, open APIs are not subject to any conditions.
The company that creates and proposes the API benefits from advertising for its products and services while retaining ownership of the source code. In turn, users can benefit from the API’s functionality without having to develop software in-house from scratch. So it’s a win-win situation.
It is possible to access many public APIs on platforms like Any-API, or ProgrammableWeb API Directory. Similarly, NASA offers a large number of open APIs.
Companies have understood that Open APIs represent an opportunity to transform their business. Thus, today we speak of an “API economy” to refer to the transactions taking place using these resources.
This economy has been booming thanks to the democratization of access to APIs through applications. Similarly, mobile services on smartphones rely on such interfaces.
The Importance of Open APIs for Big Data
For several years now, the use of “open APIs” has generated huge volumes of data. So they have contributed to the rise of Big Data.
In the area of online training for example, open APIs allow you to easily connect different websites and applications with the systems on which educational content is stored. The API allows the user’s query to be transferred from the application to the database.
Generally speaking, open APIs facilitate the connection between multiple data sources through applications. A simple “call” to the API provides access to a data source to obtain the requested information.
This simplicity explains why open APIs are increasingly used. But.., each use of an API generates data. To use the example of online courses, this data can be details about the course, the student and his or her performance.
Cognitive APIs and data analysis
In addition, some open APIs are used for data analysis thanks to their cognitive capabilities. The Cognitive APIs are relatively new. They accept requests from one system in a specific format and then pass them on to another system which will deliver an analysis as a response. This analysis will be transmitted back to the first system.
Thus, these new kind of APIs are able to process complex and unstructured data. Many companies use them to create new products and services.
APIs also allow faster access to data storage for Big Data applications. This allows you to retrieve, process and analyse information faster.