Hostwinds VPS/cloud clients now have access to our new powerful Cloud API (Application Programming Interface). APIs are the driving force behind the scenes of much of what consumers interact with on the internet everyday. They’re quietly working overtime to ensure the everyday interactions between resources and applications online work as expected.
We have APIs to thank for everything from shopping online to gaming to using our favorite mobile apps. And the possibilities you have with Hostwinds’ API are endless.
How Does an API Actually Work?
Let’s look at a common, real-world example. You want to take that someone special on a surprise trip for their birthday. So you visit travel booking sites or maybe even an online ticket reseller that finds the best deals on great seats and an amazing hotel. When you submit your preferences through their online form, that web application is going to submit command strings to APIs from multiple providers to find the best prices that fit your needs the closest.
Within moments, the APIs will deliver the requested information and you’ll get the results to choose from. Think of an API as the interpreter between devices, apps and databases. You don’t have to surf your way through millions of lines of raw data, as you would have in the days when the internet was new and we were all stuck on text based interfaces.
Nope. Instead, the developers of your favorite apps and websites created an interpreter to take the information you enter in a form and craft a query string that the databases understand. That way both you and the underlying data structure get to speak the languages you understand the best, and everyone can get what they want in the end. Pretty neat right?
And that interpreter is a rock star! They can deliver info in multiple languages compatible with multiple data infrastructures all at the same time. You can tell that middleman to allow access to certain info only if the requesting party has the right key to get in, like a safety deposit box.
You can do this easily by creating API Access keys in Cloud Portal.
Other examples include…
Let’s say you have developed an amazing, single player RPG game that can be played in a browser and it’s getting more popular each day. Using an API, you can set it up so that each time a player connects, a new instance is spun up for that session. When they’re done and close the game, that instance is terminated, without having to have someone monitor all activity all the time. It can be programmed to behave this way natively without additional input from a human.
An API can take information from multiple sources and deliver it in an easy-to-read format. Maybe you want to take information from your social analytics, PPC data and sales volume from a certain time period.
Instead of investing time and resources going through each one separately then combining and tying them in together, an API could almost instantly do it for you. So you only have one report that’s already taken the info from each place and tied them in together. You can do this by dumping the raw data into a database and creating API commands or “strings” to compile the data according to a sequence of queries delivered to the database.
The possibilities are virtually endless. You can grant or deny access to certain resources for whatever reason. Maybe your business has an IT team that needs access to a certain resources, but you don’t want them to have administrative level access to your entire infrastructure.
If this is the case, you can generate access keys and issue them to your staff. They can then utilize limited functionality of the API to assist them in their projects.
Or use it to enhance load balancing or make scaling up (or down) even easier.
Ready to get in there and get your hands dirty? Here’s the complete Hostwinds Cloud API Documentation with everything you need. Let us know below what you hope to do with it!