API and System Integration
This is a set of functions and procedures that allow applications to access the features or data of an Operating System (OS), Application, or Other Services and exchanging information over a network communication media e.g. Public IP, VPN, etc. A typical example is where a software “Client” interacts with a software “Server” by sending data requests and receiving responses through a programmable interface where endpoints are server-side exposed and client-side consumed (Interaction). Here are some of the most common types of Web Service APIs:
- SOAP (Simple Object Access Protocol): This is a protocol that uses XML as a format to transfer data. Its main function is to define the structure of the messages and methods of communication. It also uses Web Services Definition Language (WSDL) in a machine-readable document to publish a definition of its interface.
- XML-RPC (eXtensible Markup Language-Remote Procedure Call): This protocol is older than SOAP, uses minimum bandwidth and is much simpler, but uses specific XML format to transfer data whilst SOAP uses proprietary XML format.
- REST (Representational State Transfer): This is not a protocol like the other web services, but uses sets of architectural principles. The REST service needs to have certain characteristics, including simple interfaces, which are resources identified easily within the request and manipulation of resources using the interface. This API mostly uses JSON for its representation.