Databases are an important part of application development. They let you store data in a way that is easy to manage and manipulate. MySQL has been the standard for this for decades. The one drawback is that databases only store data. If you want to do something with that data, a MySQL REST API makes it possible. Here is what you need to know to use MySQL REST APIs in your projects.
Table of Contents
What is an API?
When developers create applications, one feature that they often want to include is the ability to interact with that application without integrating it entirely. In previous generations, a developer had to integrate a complete copy of an application into whatever they built. This makes applications very large and difficult to keep updated. APIs address this problem.
APIs are interface programs that let applications that do not have a component fully integrated interact with that component anyway. The API lets a developer remotely pull code to add features to the application that he or she built without pulling the entire codebase into the project.
This is a big change from previous generations. Developers can now pull from countless other applications to add to their own projects while keeping them lightweight and efficient.
APIs are an effective way of taking complex code and making it easier to work with. Coding applications result in widely different results, which means two programs are not likely to work together. This can be expected since the way apps are coded leaves a lot of room for variations.
For programs to work together, they need to be predictable. One program has to know where to look for information or how to ask for it. The other program needs to understand what is being asked for and how to package it up so the results are easy to understand. APIs make this possible by creating a more uniform connection between apps so that they can communicate with each other.
An easy way to understand how this works is to think about an API as a set of instructions. When you create an API, you are creating instructions for how someone can ask for and receive information. This list of instructions is shared with the other party so that they can understand how to ask for things. Then, you can respond correctly when someone asks for something in a way that you understand. It's the guidelines for asking for and sharing information.
What is REST?
REST is a method of building and using programs so that they can interact with each other.
Without such guidelines, one program could not take information from another and use it. It simply would not know how because since the two programs are so dissimilar, they wouldn’t understand how to work together.
REST makes it possible for two applications to work together by directing their design so that they are compatible. REST is often applied to applications and other programs, such as APIs so that they are compatible with each other.
MySQL and REST APIs
MySQL is one of the leading database languages. Essentially, it is used to create and organize databases to store data. Alone, databases are not very useful. All they can do is store and organize data in different ways. They cannot use that data for other processes.
REST APIs are one way of manipulating the data in a database so that it can be used for other purposes. For example, a REST API can be used to extract data from a database with specific parameters. A database that contains information about different cars may have a field that lists each car’s color. The REST API can be used by an application to target the CAR COLOR field, extract the information, and use it in the application.
REST is often chosen for the development of applications and APIs because it improves performance and security. It also allows for a lot of flexibility in its use, making it usable for a large number of diverse projects.
In essence, REST standardizes how APIs and applications function. While every application is different, using REST to guide development makes certain aspects of the design more predictable. Developers can create applications that they know will work with any other project that follows REST.
How Integrate.io Can Help
Integrate.io can help by creating APIs for different applications, including MySQL REST APIs. That way, your applications can work together effectively. Contact us to schedule a demo of our platform, which makes sharing data through APIs much easier.