What Are JavaScript APIs, & How Can Your Business Benefit From Them?

TL;DR: Using JavaScript APIs can help your business create creative digital solutions that could bring you a step closer to sustainable profitability.

By Julian Wallis
8 min read
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With the right knowledge in hand, you can use JavaScript APIs to create versatile digital solutions that will help your business generate revenue and profitability. All that and more to follow in this article.

Pre-introduction 🧐

As a business owner, you’re always looking for ways to improve your products and services. In today’s tech-driven world, that means embracing various technological tools to build unique and effective digital solutions that provide value to your customers. These powerful tools can help you achieve more with less time and effort. 

JavaScript APIs is one such tool that can help your business stay ahead of the curve. Implementing these APIs can add new features and functionality that radically improve your digital products without reinventing the wheel.

In this article, we’ll explore some of the best JavaScript APIs currently available that you can implement for both fun and profit. We’ll also show you how to use them to create powerful and engaging web applications. So don’t wait any longer – let’s get started!

But First, What Is An API? 💭

An API (Application Programming Interface) can be considered as an intermediary between two applications that facilitates the exchange of data between said applications. Digital products and services in our daily lives are all built with APIs, whether social media channels like Facebook or Instagram or day-day applications such as the weather or map applications.

In many ways than one, APIs are the true unsung heroes that have made our lives easier. Think about it; you can order whatever product you want from the comfort of your living room, book a flight ticket for your next vacation, or make a reservation at a fine dining restaurant in a few clicks on your mobile or desktop device. But have you ever wondered how everything on the internet is connected so well with each other?

I think we’re both thinking the same thing here, yes! APIs, I knew you’d get it!

APIs are the behind the scenes engine under the hood that often gets overlooked but is what makes all the interactivity between applications and digital platforms possible.

We hope that the concept of APIs is much clearer to you now, and we’ll now move over to the main agenda of this article, JavaScript APIs!

So Then, What Are JavaScript APIs? 💡

As the name suggests, JavaScript APIs are a subset of APIs that use the JavaScript programming language to implement complex functionalities on web pages.  Let’s use an example to further elaborate on this and solidify our understanding. 

javascript api

Let’s say you have a website with a lot of quality content. Now, you’ve decided to enhance the website by including a visualisation dashboard such as a geographical map inside of your website. 

You might be thinking, but I can already do that with the default embed code, can’t I? Yes, sure you can; you can go to any published geographical map interface, click the share button, highlight the embed, and then code copy it and paste it into your HTML page. That’s all it takes to do a basic embed into your website. 

So, why would you choose to use the JavaScript API when we know it will require additional coding and implementation? Well, the reason is that, by using JavaScript APIS, you will enable a deep integration between the content of your website and the dashboard that lives inside of it. 

For example, you can have your content filter switch tabs, select marks, and otherwise control the dashboard embedded inside the website. Still, you can also enable a “two-way communication” between the dashboard and your website’s content. This level of synchronisation and interactivity will produce a digital interface that is way superior to a standard embed.

The other side of two-way communication is that your website can respond to information or events inside the dashboard. If anything on the visualisation dashboard changes, it will be reflected automatically on your webpage.

Ultimately, the result is a robust integration that will impress your users with how you’re controlling the dashboard and responding to events inside of it. 

The Power Of JavaScript APIs

JavaScript APIs are powerful and versatile enough to be customisable to build digital solutions catered to your exact needs. For businesses, when using JavaScript or any APIs, it is essential to ensure that the web resources you are using are scalable and sufficient for your needs.

Based on our own recent experience, for our new website rebuilt on Next.js, we used Vercel as our platform for the front-end framework. We then integrated it with our headless content database using a combination of WordPress Javascript APIs, along with MySQL and GraphQL, which manipulated the APIs and made them run in a developer-friendly environment. However, we quickly came across a situation where we were exceeding the limits of Vercel in the tiered plan and thus required scaling accordingly.

Essentially, the point here is that if you want to use JavaScript APIs in conjunction with API manipulation languages such as GraphQL, then a fair bit of analysis and planning has to be done to find the suitable and sustainable framework for your web-technology structure.

Another example that perfectly encapsulates the benefits of using Javascript APIs is when working on MVP projects. As real data is not available at this stage, using JavaScript APIs to build the core functionalities of your web application can be a great place to start. 

We asked our very own JavaScript champion, Nirajan Mandal, about JavaScript APIs, and this is what he had to say. 

The beauty of APIs is that there are many ways that you can tweak and play around with them to build customised products that are unique and specific to your business and consumers. This is where the fun and the profitability aspect of APIs come into the picture. Using Javascript and APIs, we can build exciting products very quickly without building everything from scratch. For example, suppose I want to build a product similar to Spotify. In that case, I can use their API, build something with similar core features, and then configure and customise further from there to my liking.”

What Nirajan has said above speaks volumes about how Javascript APIs can help build digital products fairly quickly that are exciting for businesses to develop and fun for consumers to use and gain the intended value.

Some Of The Best JavaScript APIs 

With so many online options, choosing the suitable API for your next coding project can be overwhelming. To make this choice more manageable for you, we’ve selected the five best Javascript APIs to provide you with a definitive list of great options that you can choose from. So, without any further ado, here they are.

#1 Slack Data

If you are using Slack for your internal communications as we do here at WEBO Digital, then the Slack API would make a lot of sense for your business as well.

javascript api

With the Slack API, you can extend and automate your internal workspace and customise workflows to inspire collaboration and productivity.

#2 Geolocation API

If you are building an application that requires knowledge of your user’s location (if they allow you to access that, of course), then the Geolocation API is a great native web API for JavaScript development.

#3 NASA API

Another API that you can have a lot of fun with is the NASA API. With this API, you can use NASA’s data which includes tons of unique imagery and information relating to Astronomy, weather, Earth sciences, and more.

javascript api

#4 Payment Request API by W3C

If you have an eCommerce website, then this is a great one. The Payment Request API developed by W3C will make the user flow of your checkout process much easier and more convenient. 

After implementation of the API, a user will have to enter their details just once and be able to make payments across different websites and transactions. They can even use linked payment methods such as Google or Apple Pay.

#5 Credential Management API by W3C

Another API from W3C, the credential management API, checks all of the boxes, in our opinion. Proper, adequate documentation and tried and trusted meant that the credential management API would be featured on our list.

The API will help your users log in with the credentials they have saved in their browser. The API also facilitates authentication through public keys and OpenID, an authentication provider.

Wrapping It Up 🤗

The versatility and unimaginable room for exploration and creativity offered by JavaScript APIs are truly unmatched, and it all boils down to the scale of your application. If it’s an MVP, a significant update to an existing product, or a brand new product concept, JavaScript APIs should always be considered as they provide a quick route to the end goal. 

We hope this article has given you an adequate introduction to JavaScript APIs and their many benefits. If you’re ready to learn more or want to talk about how we can help you implement these powerful tools in your business, please don’t hesitate to reach out. 

Our team is always happy to chat and see how we can work together to create unique digital solutions that generate revenue and profitability for your business. It all starts with a discovery chat, and we hope to speak with you soon!

Published on June 13, 2022

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