Application Programming Interface (API)

What is an API?

An API is a medium through which applications can communicate with each other. API’s allow your application to interact with other applications and use their resources without delving into how those resources are set-up. This allows you to get the features of one application natively in your current application.

What does API stand for?

API stands for Application Programming Interface.

How Do APIs work?

A widely-used example in many online sources to demonstrate how APIs work is that of a restaurant. Imagine you (the customer) go to a restaurant and want to order some food. To take your order, the waiter (in this case the API) comes to your table. Once the waiter has your order, they go back into the kitchen to tell the chef your order (backend/web server). Once the chef has your order ready, the waiter brings you your food. In this case, the waiter or API is able to effectively understand what you want, get the required information or results you want, and deliver them to you.

A real-life example of APIs would be travel booking websites. Through third-party APIs, these websites can collect massive amounts of data regarding hotel availability and flight information. Once you book a particular service from these websites, they use the APIs to confirm these bookings from the source. If for instance these websites weren’t leveraging APIs, then someone would manually have to confirm the bookings for you from these different sources. APIs can retrieve and present data back to you within seconds.

What is a REST API?

REST stands for representational state transfer architectural style. A REST API, sometimes referred to as RESTful APIs, are a set of constraints on APIs that dictate how they should operate. REST APIs provide three main benefits: (1) Scalability (2) Flexibility and (3) Independence. They are also the most commonly used APIs found on the web nowadays.

What are the different types of APIs?

There are 4 different types of APIs:

(1) Open APIs:

Open APIs are also known as public or external APIs and are open for external audiences to use. They may have some limitations on access depending on the Open API.

(2) Internal APIs

Internal APIs are meant to be used only within the business itself; they are not open to outsiders. Internal APIs allow different teams within an organization to share information and use each other’s technology platforms.

(3) Partner APIs

Partner APIs require permission from a partner to access. These sort of APIs are geared toward business partnerships.

(4) Composite APIs

Composite APIs consist of multiple APIs to carry out complex functions. These APIs can be used to improve performance.

Benefits of A Shipping API

Here are some of the benefits of a shipping API:

(1) Optimized delivery process

(2) Budget-friendly solution to rising logistics cost

(3) Flexibility across platforms

(4) Reliable data collection

The largest benefit to using a shipping API can arguably be attributed to the fact that you can have all of the features of a multi-carrier shipping software built into you current tech stack and work flow. This means you don’t have to bounce between different softwares to do things such as compare and generate shipping labels. This increases overall efficiency and reduces human error in the process.

How To Use Shippo’s API

Shippo has made it easy to implement their API on your e-commerce platforms. Just follow our public API guide and our API docs to get started on implementing our APIs in your workflow. Or, speak to a sales representative to better understand how Shippo’s API will connect to your business’s tech stack.

Application Programming Interface (API)

What is an API?

An API is a medium through which applications can communicate with each other. API’s allow your application to interact with other applications and use their resources without delving into how those resources are set-up. This allows you to get the features of one application natively in your current application.

What does API stand for?

API stands for Application Programming Interface.

How Do APIs work?

A widely-used example in many online sources to demonstrate how APIs work is that of a restaurant. Imagine you (the customer) go to a restaurant and want to order some food. To take your order, the waiter (in this case the API) comes to your table. Once the waiter has your order, they go back into the kitchen to tell the chef your order (backend/web server). Once the chef has your order ready, the waiter brings you your food. In this case, the waiter or API is able to effectively understand what you want, get the required information or results you want, and deliver them to you.

A real-life example of APIs would be travel booking websites. Through third-party APIs, these websites can collect massive amounts of data regarding hotel availability and flight information. Once you book a particular service from these websites, they use the APIs to confirm these bookings from the source. If for instance these websites weren’t leveraging APIs, then someone would manually have to confirm the bookings for you from these different sources. APIs can retrieve and present data back to you within seconds.

What is a REST API?

REST stands for representational state transfer architectural style. A REST API, sometimes referred to as RESTful APIs, are a set of constraints on APIs that dictate how they should operate. REST APIs provide three main benefits: (1) Scalability (2) Flexibility and (3) Independence. They are also the most commonly used APIs found on the web nowadays.

What are the different types of APIs?

There are 4 different types of APIs:

(1) Open APIs:

Open APIs are also known as public or external APIs and are open for external audiences to use. They may have some limitations on access depending on the Open API.

(2) Internal APIs

Internal APIs are meant to be used only within the business itself; they are not open to outsiders. Internal APIs allow different teams within an organization to share information and use each other’s technology platforms.

(3) Partner APIs

Partner APIs require permission from a partner to access. These sort of APIs are geared toward business partnerships.

(4) Composite APIs

Composite APIs consist of multiple APIs to carry out complex functions. These APIs can be used to improve performance.

Benefits of A Shipping API

Here are some of the benefits of a shipping API:

(1) Optimized delivery process

(2) Budget-friendly solution to rising logistics cost

(3) Flexibility across platforms

(4) Reliable data collection

The largest benefit to using a shipping API can arguably be attributed to the fact that you can have all of the features of a multi-carrier shipping software built into you current tech stack and work flow. This means you don’t have to bounce between different softwares to do things such as compare and generate shipping labels. This increases overall efficiency and reduces human error in the process.

How To Use Shippo’s API

Shippo has made it easy to implement their API on your e-commerce platforms. Just follow our public API guide and our API docs to get started on implementing our APIs in your workflow. Or, speak to a sales representative to better understand how Shippo’s API will connect to your business’s tech stack.

Looking For a Multi-carrier Shipping Platform?

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Pre-built integrations into shopping carts like Magento, Shopify, Amazon, eBay, and others.
Support for dozens of carriers including USPS, FedEx, UPS, and DHL.
Simple pricing: Cost of shipping + 5 cents per label. Label fees are waived when using Shippo’s carrier accounts.
Shipping Insurance: Insure your packages at an affordable cost.
Shipping API for building your own shipping solution.

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