An Application Programming Interface (API) is a set of subroutine definitions, communication protocols, and tools for building software. In general, an API specifies how software components should interact. Furthermore, a good API makes it easier to develop a program by providing all the building blocks, which are then put together by the programmer.
In the context of text analytics, an API allows developers to access specific features or data from a text analytics platform in order to build their own applications on top of it. For example, the Alteryx Promote API allows users to run and schedule Promote jobs from within their own custom applications.
It is important to note that not all text analytics platforms make their APIs publicly available. Some restrict access to their APIs to only select partners or customers. Furthermore, some text analytics platforms do not offer an API at all.
When considering a text analytics platform, it is important to inquire about the availability of an API and what restrictions exist on its use. This will ensure that you are able to utilize the platform in the way that best meets your needs.
Benefits of API
An API can be quite helpful when used correctly. When you need to obtain data from a text analytics platform, an API allows you to do so without having to go through the hassle of logging into the platform, navigating to the specific page where the data is located, and downloading it manually.
Furthermore, an API can automate tasks that would otherwise have to be completed manually. For example, if you need to run a Promote job on a daily basis, you can use the Alteryx Promote API to schedule this job instead of having to log in and run the job manually every day.
In addition, an API can give you more control over how you access data from a text analytics platform. For example, you may want to access data through a custom application that you have developed specifically for your needs. In this case, an API would be necessary in order to connect the text analytics platform to your custom application.
Drawbacks of API
Despite the many benefits of an API, there are also some drawbacks to consider. One such drawback is that an API can be difficult to use if you are not a developer or if you are not familiar with the programming language required to use the API.
Furthermore, even if you are a developer, it can still be challenging to use an API if the documentation is poor or if the text analytics platform does not offer adequate support.
Another potential drawback of using an API is that it can be less secure than other methods of accessing data from a text analytics platform. This is because an API typically requires the use of credentials, such as a username and password, in order to access the data. If these credentials are stolen, it would give the attacker access to the data on the text analytics platform.