APIs: How Developers Connect Applications in a Modern World

Published by: Boeing Developer Tools | Posted: Mar 08, 2020 03:00 PM GMT+0
APIs enable the functionality we expect from our apps. Boeing leads the way in aerospace APIs with Developer Tools.

For many of us, the applications on our phones, tablets, and laptops make life more productive, more convenient, and more social. Application programming interfaces, or APIs, enable much of that functionality. And while APIs might not be a household name, they play a critical role in the business of doing business. Boeing leads the way in aerospace APIs with Developer Tools.

What is an API?

An API is set of instructions allowing two applications to talk to each other. This software-to-software interface simplifies programming and provides the robust user experience we’ve come to expect from our applications.

Want to post an article you read on a news site to one of your social media accounts? Get directions to a party from the electronic invitation? Check the weather at a hotel where you’re arriving shortly? APIs make these and countless other functions possible.

APIs are a fundamental building block on which applications are built. When creating APIs, Boeing uses the REST architectural style, which is an industry standard known for its ease of use. This best practice makes it simpler and faster for developers to build their applications. Making applications easier to build means companies can bring their great ideas to market sooner.

Making Good Things Better

Boeing’s developers regularly employ APIs to integrate the company’s products and systems. For example, the team created APIs to:

  • Make common data such as aviation weather readily available to internal products
  • Enable the rapid sharing and distribution of data offloaded from airplanes
  • Allow seamless integration of Boeing’s parts distribution channels into a single, easy-to-implement Parts search

Boeing Developer Tools, the company’s developer-focused website, allows developers and technical project managers to browse, test, and purchase APIs, as well as software development kits (SDKs).

“These high-quality, cutting-edge APIs leverage Boeing’s data and services, delivering value-added capabilities that will accelerate innovation,” said Patrick Keene, senior manager for Boeing’s Global Services. “We are thrilled to engage customers and particularly the development community in this new way.”

Born out of a need to connect Boeing’s digital products and services, Boeing Developer Tools is the driving force behind the company’s programming resources. Boeing has almost a century of aviation data history, making Boeing Developer Tools indispensable as aerospace developers build their next application.

“External use of Boeing’s APIs is a natural extension of our internal use cases,” said Anthony Soo Kaim, principle developer of the Boeing Developer Tools program. “This will allow our customers to integrate with the company’s extensive data and capabilities.”

Some APIs, like Boeing Parts, are available at no cost, while others are available through a tiered or custom pricing arrangement. APIs are fully self-service, though 24-hour support and troubleshooting are available.

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