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APIs: How Servers and Clients Communicate with Each Other

  • Executive Summary

The server and clients are two essential components of an API. Let’s demystify the human model of communication and learn their interaction. We will further compare it with computers. A set of protocols is used to make the systems interact. Let’s discuss the essentials of protocols and development.

  • Rules

Do you know how people communicate? Social etiquette is one of the best ways to interact. Think about phone chatting. From a brief pause to instant response, humans follow different ways to communicate.

Computers also follow similar etiquette or protocols. What do you understand by the term computer protocols? A computer protocol is an accepted rule that one system applies to communicate with another. Furthermore, they are fixed or rigid, i.e., they cannot be altered. There are many terminologies of APIs.

What are the essentials of effective communication? Clients arrange messages and the server has the information about that, i.e., the server should know the exact route to deliver messages or know the way. Let’s understand with an analogy. What will you do if someone asks to a location? You will suggest the street address, city, location and zip code so that one can reach the designated location. We know the importance of zip codes and it equally essential to a computer protocol.

  • Web Protocol

Let’s elaborate more to know about the web protocol. We have discussed what a web protocol is. Every protocol is tailored to execute a specific function. Different examples of protocols that you might have heard are available. Bluetooth is used to connect devices. Further, we can either use IMAP or PAP for extracting mails.

Do you know the most important web protocol? HTTP or HyperText Transfer Protocol is one of the most important protocols used. Whenever anyone types an address, using HTTP, it starts guiding the browser to apply rules for the communication with the server.

The ubiquity of HTTP allows users to choose it as their protocols. There are many benefits to using the APIs. This is another reason to employ them. They play an important role in creating APIs. Let’s understand how it works.

  • What is an HTTP request?

The request-response cycle concept is one of the most important terms used in HTTP centers. Clients send requests. In response to the request made, the clients send their responses. Clients using URL, methods, body, and headers only can make valid requests. Computers need to be dictated for one-to-one communication.

  • Role of URLs

We are familiar with URLs, but do you know their structure? URLs are unique addresses. They have different types of applications. From web pages to videos, they have different utilities.

APIs include the customers, tweets and products and URLs have become a medium of communication, i.e., it suggests servers what they want to interact with. Technically, we call them resources. Read more about APIs

  • Methods to Use

The request method is used to tell the requirements for clients. Thus servers will act accordingly. For example, the request “verb”. Below are some common methods used in APIs.

GET: GET request is applied to fetch a resource.

POST: POST is used to create new resources.

PUT: PUT is used to edit and update the available resources.

DELETE: DELETE is used to omit a resource.

Headers, bodies and HTTP responses are other terms used to make HTTP requests.

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