Application Program Interface (API) permits the interaction between two systems. And with almost every institution adopting the API strategy, it’s critical that you understand the various aspects and fundamentals of API and how to manage them so that you can deliver the highest level of user experience. One crucial thing that you need to understand is what an API endpoint is and why it is essential.
What Is An API Endpoint?
In simple terms, an API endpoint is the point of entry in a communication channel when two systems are interacting. It refers to touchpoints of the communication between an API and a server. The endpoint can be viewed as the means from which the API can access the resources they need from a server to perform their task. An API endpoint is basically a fancy word for a URL of a server or service.
We all know that APIs operate through ‘requests’ and ‘responses.’ And when an API requests to access data from a web application or server, a response is always sent back. The location where the API sends a request and where the response emanates is what is known as an endpoint. Reputedly, the endpoint is the most crucial part of the API documentation since it’s what the developer will implement to make their requests.
The Difference Between An API And An Endpoint
An API refers to a set of protocols and tools that allow interaction between two different applications. In simple terms, it is a technique that enables third-party vendors to write programs that can easily interface with each other. On the other hand, an endpoint is the place of interaction between applications. API refers to the whole set of protocols that allows communication between two systems while an endpoint is a URL that enables the API to gain access to resources on a server.
Why Are API Endpoints Important?
As more individuals are starting to appreciate the use of APIs to aid in the transfer of critical data, transactions, and processes, it has become vitally imperative to understand the various aspects that makeup API. As such, making sure that the communication touchpoints between systems are robust is crucial to API success. Endpoints help to depict the exact location of the resources to be accessed by API and also play a vital role in ensuring that the software which is interacting with the API is functioning correctly. Therefore, the performance and productivity of APIs depend on its ability to interact and communicate with endpoints effectively.
How Are API Endpoints Secured?
In this age of digital economy when massive loads of data are being piped through APIs, whether it is in science, education, gaming or business, it is surprising that nothing much is being said about the security of data and information on API’s. However, this write-up highlights a few things that can be done to improve the safety of API’s. The first thing is to secure the API endpoints.
The begging question is: How do you secure API endpoints?
1. Utilize one-way password hashing
To guarantee the safety of API endpoints, it is recommended that you store your password using (“one-way”) or asymmetric encryption algorithms. Symmetric and plain-text storage of passwords should be avoided at all costs.
2. Make HTTPS your only option
APIs that allow users and applications to interact via HTTP and other non-secure protocols are highly prone to hackers. To avoid putting your clients in danger, it is crucial to make sure that HTTPs is the only available option regardless of how trivial the endpoint might seem.
3. Institute rate limiting
Enforcing a limit of how many requests a customer can make to the API helps to discourage bots and avoid unnecessary use of system resources.
4. Solid authentication
Although every API comes with a distinct form of authentication, there are a few authentication techniques which industry leaders perceive to be the best. For instance, the Oath2 system is preferred since it segregates accounts into various resources and permits limited access to the token bearer.
5. Input validation is crucial
Validating input helps to decipher and identify threats early enough before they reach the clients. Atop checking whether data in the right format, you should also look for other surprises such as SQL injection which might erase your database if left unchecked.
What Is The Best Way To Publish API Endpoints (On RapidAPI)?
The primary function of API endpoints is to provide a means of interaction between an API and a server. Each endpoint boasts a specified format both for its request and responses. And the best thing is that you don’t need any knowledge to use them. RapidAPI allows you to publish, launch and monetize your API on the world’s largest API marketplace. Using a simple UI, you can add your endpoints and parameters in minutes. As long as you use the right format, you will be able to utilize your API endpoints effectively.