The tools listed in the Developer Portal are geared for Developers. That said, it’s valuable for merchants to understand the capability and what utilizing the latest in technology can do for their business.
First off, what is an API?
API stands for Application Programming Interface, and it is a set of programming instructions and standards for accessing a web-based software or web tool. Basically, it is how computers talk to one another. They live in the back end, sending information from one server to another while users only see the website or the “front end”.
The thing about APIs is you use them in your everyday life countless times without knowing it. That is because they are seamless. You call an integration seamless when the user never notices it is there.
Let’s say that you want to do a Google Search for the different types of beans. When you type “different types of beans” into Google, your web browser seamlessly sends a Querystring API request to the Google Search API service.
A Querystring API is when the information you typed into the Google search box is placed into the URL. You do not try to create the API request; you just type in “different types of beans” which then changed the URL to a Querystring API showing https://www.google.ca/#q=different+types+of+beans.
In response, Google’s servers will send you back a list of the pages that it found that match your search terms, and then your web browser will then display those pages nicely for you so you can click on them.
Now this works great for small data fields, but when you start having a more complex application, or you want to send a bunch of data fields at the same time, a basic API is very limiting. Which is where RESTful APIs come in.
Okay, so what is a RESTful API?
RESTful APIs are everywhere and are preferred over the basic API. RESTful APIs are used for payments, geolocations, taxi request, ordering food online, you name it, they do it.
What makes RESTful APIs special is how they are structured. This is what makes them more preferred over the basic API because it makes life easier for software developers. Take the image below, even for those who do not understand code, you can tell which one is more structured and easier to read.
With RESTful APIs you can group relevant parts of the data together, such as billing address fields or contact information fields, thus allowing a software developer to make their program more understandable.
RESTful APIs make it easier for your developer to integrate systems. An easy integration creates stability and simplicity while saving money spent on development hours. Developers will be relieved when they see the full stack of Beanstream’s RESTful API and code samples. Beanstream is Your Partner In Payments.