APIs, or Application Programming Interfaces, are coded interfaces that allow communication between applications.
For example, to code an application for VTC drivers, such as Uber, we need to set up a route calculation system to indicate to the drivers the shortest route. We will also need a notification system to let the customer know when the driver has arrived.
Coding all these elements can be very long and complicated… unless you use APIs!
Indeed, the route calculation system has already been coded by the Google Maps developers. And they have made this service available through an API! The notification service is accessible through the Cloud Messaging API.
It is therefore possible to integrate these two services directly into our VTC driver application using APIs. We will use the “API documentation”, i.e. the API user manual, for this.
This way, we don’t have to code everything, but simply reuse the existing code, paying a fee if the API is not made available for free.