What makes APIs — the unicorns of the programming world — so unique? In a word, data.
In our fast-paced world, solutions that save time, increase efficiency, and offer greater functionality are welcome aides to any working professional. That’s why developers increasingly employ application programming interfaces, or APIs. What makes these unicorns of the programming world so unique? In a word, data.
APIs Provide Access to External Data
Applications rely on data. Some data comes from users, and some comes from the application. But a developer’s greatest challenge is accessing data external to the application. This may be available within the developer’s organization, or it may reside with other institutions.
There are numerous established ways to transfer data rapidly from an external system to an application. For instance, a developer can build a point-to-point integration between the data source and the application. However, such integrations are expensive to build and maintain, and they typically serve a single purpose.
Additionally, this approach requires close collaboration with the source system. And since the developer must understand the source data structure – a challenge when intellectual property (IP) is involved – and accommodate the system’s development schedule, projects can encounter time delays and budgetary constraints.
Finally, a tight point-to-point integration makes the connection between the application and the required data extremely fragile. Consequently, changes to the source system data structure can break the application.
APIs sidestep these challenges by facilitating access to external data.
APIs Make Data Readily Digestible
APIs provide data owners/sources with a pattern to publish data. This pattern is universal and easy for other applications to understand and consume, even when the underlying data structure or business logic is complicated.
APIs Make Data Easy to Find
Because APIs and their schemas – or larger sets of metadata that define how smaller sets of data are structured – are published on a portal, they’re easy to discover.
APIs Keep Proprietary Data Secure
API schemas serve as contracts, establishing what data API publishers will share. APIs protect data structures, business logic, and IP outside of those agreements by limiting user access.
APIs Allow Publishers to Update Data Structures
APIs allow publishers to modify their internal data structures, so long as they don’t modify their schemas. This promotes ongoing innovation while protecting applications connected to publishers’ data.
APIs Save Developers Time
APIs are housed within online portals. These digital storefronts provide developers with simple, secure, anytime access to the APIs they need, leaving more time for integration.
Boeing Developer Tools Simplify Aerospace-Related Programming
The aerospace developer community requires access to a specific variety of aviation data in order to power their applications and analytics, for instance aircraft parts, aerodromes, and airspaces.
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).
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.
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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