Integrating APIs into Your Application
APIs, or application programming interfaces, are external platforms that are integrated into a mobile app in order to provide some sort of service that the app doesn’t otherwise provide. Examples of the usages of an API for mobile apps might be a messaging service or a payment processing service—services that support the application but are not built directly into what the application does.
These third-party services should be seamlessly integrated into the application to the point where it is invisible on the user end. However, this is not a simple feat. Successfully integrating third-party API in Android and Apple applications is a meticulous process of testing how the application programming interface integrates with your app on multiple platforms. Developing mobile apps from the ground up and integrating APIs seamlessly into your application is difficult, but with practice and research, it is fully possible. Here are some tips on how to successfully integrate an API for mobile apps:
Choose APIs That Will Save You Time and Energy
Many APIs provide resources for the companies that utilize them in their applications. Third-party API in Android and third-party API in Apple will sometimes notice the similarities in the wants and needs of the businesses that utilize them. Based on that, the API developers will build codes that help the businesses that integrate their API. This is especially true for the backend of applications.
If a company that builds an API for mobile apps selling goods notices that most of their customers are striving to build an efficient way to manage their customers and monitor their money transfers, then it is likely that the API has already built a dashboard that might be perfect for the businesses they serve. This saves customers time and energy by not having to code this aspect of their application. It also helps to integrate the API more seamlessly, as it is guaranteed that the codes are compatible.
Use an Idempotency Key
Developing mobile apps can be complicated. More often than not, there will be some important factor overlooked. When integrating API for mobile apps, it is important to make sure that your code is not written so that it is performing the same actions more than once. Repetitive actions can be a huge hassle and can ruin business for a new app. For example, in a money moving app, if funds are transferred more than once, users might see the app as unreliable. You, as the developer, will have to backtrack to fix this mistake.
This is when idempotency keys come into play. Essentially, an idempotency key ensures that the same actions are not performed twice, whether due to network connectivity issues or other problems. Idempotency keys help foster smooth integration of APIs, as they create more reliable and robust APIs. Idempotency keys will save you a lot of hassle in the long run, as they essentially work out the kinks of an app for you.
Monitor API Performance
Regularly monitoring the performance of your API can help you stay ahead of issues that may potentially arise. This is wise if you wish for your audience to stay with your app, because if there are too many issues, then your consumers will likely abandon it. By monitoring the performance of your API, you can prevent issues before they arise. This way, consumers will be blissfully unaware of any problems that may be occurring on the backend of their application. It also ensures that application users’ data is safe.
The most important aspect to focus on when monitoring API performance is request latency. If your integrated API is slowing down your application, your users will notice. In internet time, a minute is an hour, and seconds of lag add up incredibly fast. There are a large number of applications on the market, and yours will be dropped for a better performing option if your application lags in speed due to your API. Request latency is a simple and relatively straightforward aspect of performance to monitor, but it makes a world of difference.
There are a lot of great third party options for monitoring API performance. Companies are dedicated to just that, and will send you alerts in real-time as they find something off about the API integrated in your application. In areas of high congestion, latency can be a large issue, and is one of the main factors that these companies will monitor the most.
Obviously no software is perfect. Even if an application is the most reliable on the market and has undergone meticulous testing, there is still a flaw somewhere. Often that flaw will rear its ugly head when faced with API integration. In order to avoid losing application users due to these issues, it is important to stay on top of potential problems involving API integration.