API for engineers
API stands for Application Programming Interface. According to Wikipedia, an API is a computing interface to a software component or a system, that defines how other components or systems can use it.
WHAT IS AN API?
It might not have been clear to everyone, lets try it again in non technical way. Best API analogy I came across (https://medium.com/apinf/apis-...) is
Take example of a restaurant. The waiter is the API. You are someone who is asking for service. In other words, you are an API customer or consumer. The menu is the documentation which explains what you can ask for from the API. The kitchen is for example a server, a database that holds only certain type of data — whatever the buyer has bought for the restaurant as ingredients and what the chef has decided they will offer and what the cooks know how to prepare.
APIs ensure a seamless communication between various applications. For example, in the below video, API integration between Pro Well Plan's software and Futureon's Software Fieldap (https://www.futureon.com/fieldap/) allows the user to edit the trajectory of a wellbore in PWP software and in turn automatically being updated in Fieldap.
ADVANTAGES OF AN API
- Automated Tasks - It increases the efficiency of the work as considerable amount of tasks are automated.
- Customization - The users can implement new functions or make analysis on the data by fetching data from the database. This comes in handy when, for an instance, a Drilling Engineer wants to tests his/her hypothesis on the data.
- Data Flow - The data can flow between various application (for instance in the above video) without being the need to import the data as Excel Sheets. Hence, it helps in keeping a single version of the data.