You may interact with APIs every day without knowing it.
Whether it’s using an app to hail a ride, to order a pizza for speedy delivery, to share photos on social media or to find out when a loved one’s flight gets in, web APIs make it happen.
So, what is an API?
API stands for Application Programming Interface. Simply put, it’s a set of functions or procedures that allows one computer program to access data from an operating system, software library or another system.
When you see a person’s social media feed on their website, that’s thanks to APIs. Same for embedded video or other dynamic content within a webpage.
In 2014, there was more than 11,000 Public APIs registered at programmableweb.com. Those numbers grow exponentially, because companies are constantly creating new APIs to interface with their website with an app.
There are various forms of APIs.
Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP) are a widely used, albeit increasingly outdated, type of API. JSON is another popular form.
REpresentational State Transfer (RESTful) APIs are the more popular form of API today.
Benchmark Email Now Offers RESTful APIs
Recently, Benchmark Email launched its RESTful APIs for public use. To gain a little perspective on what that means for email marketers, I asked one of our Frontend Developers, Ronald Liang, a few questions.
Here’s what he had to say:
Andy Shore: Why is RESTful API better than what we were previously offering?
Ronald Liang: RESTful APIs, which is the current standard for APIs should make app creation and integration easier. In addition, we offer a complete list of our APIs as opposed to a limited selection from what we have before with the Legacy APIs.
AS: What’s new that businesses can do with these APIs?
RL: You can pretty much do everything that you can within our web app. Our Legacy APIs were limited to certain methods, but with these new RESTful APIs, all of them are made available to our users.
AS: What has been improved in regards to the user experience with these new APIs?
RL: While we redesigned our web app, we have switched from using ASP.NET Web Forms to RESTful APIs which has brought some speed improvements and better API organization. But the bigger benefit was that we can now improve and develop faster than we can before because of the power of RESTful APIs.
AS: What might an email marketer want to consider trying if they’re not already using APIs?
RL: With some coding knowledge, they can create some simple web apps or integrations with us that were either not possible before or was harder to do.
Additional Info on Benchmark Email’s RESTful APIs
If you’re interested in putting Benchmark Email’s RESTful APIs to use, you can access them through our developer’s page. With our APIs, you can make 500 calls every two minutes and 60,000 calls total each day.To put our APIs to use, you’ll need to access your Benchmark Email API token.