HomeGlossaryWhat are APIs?

Colt Wiki

What are APIs?

Also known as: Application Programming Interface

APIs are mechanisms that enable two software components to communicate with one another, by using a set of definitions and protocols, essentially creating a common ‘language’. There are four ways that APIs can work depending on when or why they are created. These are SOAP (Simple Object Access Protocol), RPC (Remote Procedure Calls), Websocket & REST APIs.

To begin, Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) define how a software can request another software to provide data or to perform a task, by specifying what requests can be made, and what data format to use. There are three types of APIs which can be used: private (for internal use only), partnered (shared with specific partners to provide additional revenue streams) and public (allowing third parties to develop apps that interact with your API to encourage innovation).

An example of how an API is used is travel booking sites, which use APIs to get flight and hotel availabilities from providers, allowing them to aggregate thousands of live flight and destinations to show the cheapest options to their customers.

In the telecoms space, a common example we see is these services offered by service providers for clients to program their applications to automatically request services while they’re running.

The world today requires 24/7 availability, ever-increasing connectivity, and a reliance on data. These trends have created new challenges for businesses and APIs are increasingly the answer in for both consumer and business environments. They have transformed the way businesses interact with each other and the way they provide value to their customers by increasing automation, improving collaboration, simplifying innovation and enhancing security.

Recommended content for you

Colt's Japanese team at the 2023 BBA Awards

Colt shines bright in 2023: A recap of our award wins

2023 has been a big year for Colt. Not only have we maintained our Platinum EcoVadis rating for the second consecutive year, achieved a 70 plus NPS rating for all Colt regions, but we have ...
Read More
High angle shot of a young businesswoman using a laptop during a late night in a modern office

Intelligence in our network: utilising AI to improve customer experience

When it comes to digital infrastructure, adopting ‘intelligence’ into a network can mean lots of different things. In our latest Digital Infrastructure Report, we asked 750 IT decision-makers what intelligence means to them, discovering that ...
Read More
a night-time shot of a fashionable office

AI everywhere at Gartner Symposium 2023

Last week Colt was a sponsor, exhibitor and speaker at the 2023 Garter Symposium in Barcelona, Europe’s biggest gathering of CIOs and senior IT and tech leaders. The theme of the week was artificial intelligence ...
Read More

Digital Infrastructure Report 2023

Products & Services Home ❯ Glossary ❯ What are APIs? Digital infrastructure is the bedrock of every business. But with the increase of automation, AI, and software-defined networking, how are IT leaders preparing their businesses? Download ...
Read More
Two people look at a smart phone, sat in a car

Anticipating needs: Inter-company network makes recommendations on transgender and non-binary inclusion

By Colt's Rachel Collins, Head of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion and Nikolaos Koutrakis, VP Reward   Pride Matters in Tech is a group of LGBTQ+ employee networks in the technology sector that want to ensure ...
Read More
The Colt team celebrating with their award

Colt wins at the British Business Awards in Japan

This week Colt secured an impressive win at the British Business Awards, run by the British Chamber of Commerce in Japan. We were awarded the Digital Technology Innovation Award, recognising how Colt is helping Japanese ...
Read More