Test Your Knowledge About APIs

Test Your Knowledge About APIs

Anita Hawser
March 2018

How much do you really know about APIs? Test your knowledge:

  1. When were APIs invented?
    APIs predate the advent of the web and personal computers. They have existed since the 1960s, but they weren’t necessarily called APIs. Instead, terms like “message-oriented middleware” and Object-Oriented Programming, which came out of academia, were used. 
     
  2. When were web APIs first used?
    Some trace the first use of web-based APIs to the year 2000 when customer relationship management software company Salesforce.com launched its API at media and analyst firm IDG’s DEMO show. That same year, computer scientist Roy Fielding penned his dissertation, “Network-based Software Architectures,” which talked about REST as a development architecture for the web.
     
  3. Are all APIs the same?
    API today refers largely to web-based APIs. But APIs can apply to applications, operating systems or websites. There are also private APIs, which are used internally between a company’s systems, partner APIs used with partner companies and public APIs, which includes open APIs.
     
  4. What kind of companies publish APIs?
    Fintechs: Modulr, Stripe, Monzo, Revolut, Starling
    Other verticals: Twilio
    Social media companies: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram
    Digital companies: Google, Amazon, Apple
    Consumer Tools / Utilities: Transport for London (to provide bus and tube times), Google Maps, Netflix
    Marketing Tech: Salesforce, HubSpot
     
  5. Five things That wouldn’t be possible without APIs
    Cloud computing
    Some mobile applications
    Voice recognition apps like Apple’s Siri
    PayPal
    Mobile payment services like Apple Pay
     
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