In today’s digital world, we can often wonder how computers work together. Some may do it in fear as they imagine a world where the dominant race is made up of integrated chips and artificial intelligence. Suddenly, the movie The Terminator comes to mind. Others may steer in the other direction and see how technology’s constantly helping us and our society and most importantly our daily lives. Technology has become an essential part of our lives. We can no longer leave the house without our smartphones as they hold most of our critical information. We pay our bills automatically when they’re due, our groceries get delivered to our doorstep, and families stay connected while oceans apart.
Many of these things could not be possible without APIs or application programming interfaces. They’re sets of definitions and protocols that are used for building and integrating software applications. They offer services to other services. For instance, you may find in some shopping sites or apps the PayPal or Google Pay apps integrated as alternate payment methods. APIs will have a user-friendly interface so anyone can use them from their mobile phones or computers and tablets.
In order to drive the goals of each of the businesses behind the APIs, API management tools are employed. Those tools help provide API services while facilitating their internal and external development. This allows developers to swiftly adopt and integrate them into their applications. Successfully managing an API includes implementing scalability, security, and support features. APIs are one of the ways in which computers communicate with each other. Some of the other ways will be discussed below.
Primarily, most computers may communicate through an internet connection. The same connection that brings you closer to your loved ones over a webcam is the same connection that brings two computers together. As a matter of fact, communication between you and your loved ones is possible thanks to the connection of two computers. One sends a request over the internet to call your loved ones while their computer accepts or rejects that connection, which could lead to a long and heartwarming conversation.
Another way computers communicate with each other is through TCP/IP protocols. These acronyms stand for transmission control protocol and internet protocol. These protocols are rules for messaging formats and procedures that help machines and apps exchange information. They are in charge of telling the computer how to route, address, and transmit packets of data across networks. Data packets can be anything from text, audio, video, and other types of data transmittable through a specific network.
Networks exist outside the social realm. In the technology industries, networks are formed when two or more computers are linked to share their resources. These resources can be files and communications among other things. They are formed through cables, radio waves, telephone lines, satellites, and infrared light beams. The most common types of networks are local and wide area networks (LAN and WAN). Different types of networks function properly for different network sizes. For instance, a LAN is often used for relatively small areas such as laboratories, schools, and buildings. WANs are typically used for larger geographic areas like an entire US state or even the world. These networks have controlled user access, methods for sharing and storing information, services, and group computing. They may be expensive to install, and require admin time, compliance, and maintenance, among other things.
These are the basics of how most computers communicate with each other, whether that’s to post a selfie, send a text, or chat with people from all over the world. In their day-to-day lives, most people don’t think about protocols, or even know what they are. Instead, they use apps like Facebook, Snapchat, WhatsApp, and Google Hangouts, which allow them to send messages, photos, and videos to whomever they want, wherever they want, however they want. While most of us don’t think about the code that makes it all possible, we do know that the internet is awesome. It has allowed us to integrate intelligence into our homes and workplaces in ways that we could never have imagined before. It’s an essential part of our lives and it’s revolutionized how we communicate and share information.
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