What is a Web API?

An API (Application Programming Interface) is a way of interacting with data and services of existing web sites and social networks. It allows web developers to utilise the social network of website visitors to push and retrieve relevant data.

A simple example is using the Facebook API to authenticate someone on your website (login using Facebook credentials), getting a list of their friends, and allow the use to send each of them a message on Facebook, all from your own website.

Examples of Web APIs

  • Google Maps API

    The Google Maps API allows us to build applications that are location aware, and store and retrieve information based on location searches and parameters.

    Esonica has been working with the Google Maps API since its first release, developing a variety of mapping business applications, from Real Estate listings to location based data analysis. Mapping on the web is one of our passions, if you can think of an idea, we can do it!

  • Twitter API

    Twitter is a social networking and micro-blogging website that allows its users to send updates (aka tweets) which are text-based posts with a maximum 140 character limit. This can all be done from your website, without the user leaving your site.

    The Twitter API allows any external website to post and pull data to Twitter members and services, such as latest posts, replies, direct messages, and more.

  • Amazon S3 Storage API

    Amazon provides a massive distributed network for reliable and affordable storage of files. This can be utilised in high traffic and large file storage websites to reduce hosting costs and provide a stable, reliable delivery mechanism.

  • Flickr API

    Flickr is the fastest growing, and largest resource for photos and images on the internet. They provide a useful API for retrieving images and information about those images coupled with a powerful search tool for finding exactly what you are looking for. The Flickr API also allows a website to upload new images to a Flickr Stream from any website.

For a complete list of Web APIs, browse this useful directory