API stands for Application programming interface (API) is roughly defined as:
The allowance and processes to give programs access to connect and essentially, communicate with other programs. Their APIs are their languages.
It’s a software-to-software interface that allow for separate parties to talk to each other without any previous user knowledge or intervention. It runs the processes behind the scenes. For example: Many online stores use these to allow you to enter your credit card information, and then the store uses the API to send the information to a remote application that will verify whether or not the information is correct.
If you are using any of our Tools > Apps & Add-Ons you will be syncing your store with various third party applications and additional services with API integration.
Example: When you use Avalara or TaxCloud, all you need to get started is to simply have an account with this third-party site, and on yourSpark Pay Online Stores end you enter your login credentials to sync the two.
All your settings and information you need from this third party will need to be changed in their user interface as most do not sync withSpark Pay Online Stores through our admin console in this way via iframe. This allows less confusion and more organization regarding the division of the two.
(So as to not mix apples with oranges.)
The third party application when synced with Americommerce will divide certain responsibilities to remote software to handle the rest.
API and the adjoining services are invisible to site users and software users. Their jobs run in the background providing a way for applications to work simultaneously.
There are several different programming languages, protocols and standards that make these services work.
SOAP (Simple Object Access Protocol) – This is what is responsibile for encoding XML messages so that they are received and understood by an operating system over any type of network protocol.
REST (Representational State Transfer) – An architechtural style of a coordinated constraints applied to components, connectors, and data elements. It ignores the details of component implementation and protocol syntax so that it may focus on the roles of components, their interaction and constraints with other components, and their interpretation of data elements.
This is considered as an alternative to SOAP. You can learn more about REST API here.