What is an API?

By: SiliconExpert on November 9th, 2022

What is an API? 

The term API, or application programming interface, is a software middleman that allows both developers and non-developers to connect applications together, regardless of the platform or coding language. When you use an API, the API makes a call out to a system, retrieves the response, then interprets it and returns an action.  

Explanation of API

Everyday Example of an API 

Unless you write every line of code from scratch, APIs are a part of our everyday life.  Let’s look at a real-life example of an API, searching for a flight. There are many options when choosing a flight, from the airline company, to departure and arrival cities, to days and times, and many other variables. You could manually search and compare across multiple airline websites to find the best options. Or you could leverage a third-party aggregator to search and filter based on your travel preferences. When using an aggregator, such as Kayak or Expedia, the website will leverage an API call to multiple airlines, collect the data, and return a sorted list of the best and most relevant travel itineraries. Thus, automating the calls and reducing the effort and time spent manually scraping the data. As expectations of customer experience continue to grow, APIs are becoming increasingly important to businesses to provide better value, faster.  

So how can one leverage APIs to improve business operations? Much like the example above, businesses can use the data from APIs to improve overall business efficiency and proactively manage a product lifecycle. Here are a few more of the top reasons that companies leverage APIs,  


Business Benefits of Using an API 

  • Facilitate communication by connecting multiple users and systems regardless of language, operating system, or developer knowledge 
  • Drive business agility by increasing the speed by which the organization can respond to changing marketing conditions and expectations  
  • Pave the way for innovation by connecting your data to third parties to improve product development and service execution  
  • Save money by reducing the amount of time spent on non-value add activities when you automate tasks and improve organizational efficiency  


Manage Product Lifecycle and Component Risk with APIs 

Most design management tools, such as EDA, PLM, RFQ, do not have full component data available. This can lead to hours of research and manual data scraping to source the component information. Additionally, organizations can face costly redesigns if the collected information is incorrect or outdated. All of this can lead to delays in getting a product to market and detriment revenues.  

SiliconExpert’s API component database provides up-to-date mechanical and electronic component information, providing the most accurate information to your product lifecycle. The API enables organizations to manage the overall risk of a bill of materials (BOM) with information such as cross-reference parts, materials declarations, inventory levels, part change notifications (PCNs), compliance regulations and more.  

Get Started with SiliconExpert 

SiliconExpert’s component database contains over 1 billion parts and is backed by over 500 engineers. Through SiliconExpert’s API solutions such as SEConnect, direct integrations into your native environment, or through one of our channel partners, you can proactively manage your bill of materials in your native environment. Put the power of our data at your fingertips with our SiliconExpert API solutions. 

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