Answered By: Bella Ratmelia
Last Updated: Aug 04, 2021     Views: 142

API stands for Application Programming Interface. Essentially, it’s a standardized method that enables online software/services to communicate with each other by way of exchanging data. 


APIs are used in many ways, such as adding new data on a website through another (e.g. automatically tweet a new blog post), retrieving data from publicly open data repositories, or updating contents in another website. In research and academia, however, data retrieval is the most common usage of API. Generally, you will need some knowledge of programming (e.g. R or Python) to use API.


To illustrate, API is quite like the self-service kiosks that we sometimes see in cafes or restaurants: 

  1. We use the self-service kiosk to send our order (request).
  2. We also make payment and provide other details required by the kiosk (API key/authentication key). 
  3. The restaurant processes our order and then pass it to us (response). 


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