Unless you are a web developer, there is every chance you will have used and abused the acronym API in recent years. It’s one of those technology buzzwords that can get bandied about in general work conversations without all parties really knowing what it is.
Sure, many people know that open web APIs are important. But few seem to know what a web API is or why it is important.
So let me give you my definition.
A web API (Application Programming Interface) governs the interactions between bits of software, making it possible to connect applications and ensure that they play nicely together. Based on industry standard HTTP (a protocol that every programmer knows), web APIs make software applications and components inclusive rather than exclusive.
By using web-based APIs, a developer or administrator of a software application or software-based system can significantly increase its functionality by connecting to and using pre-existing logic or code they don’t have to write themselves. This quickly gives the application or system functionality it wouldn’t otherwise have, making it easier to ensure that it does exactly what you and your business wants it to do.
To coin a phrase, web APIs play a significant role in helping a user to not have to re-invent the wheel.
Imagine this approach applied to news production.
Most news production systems are great out of the box but additional development is time consuming and costly. And some systems are completely closed to third party tools and applications.
A news production system that uses web APIs is the opposite. It allows users to rapidly prototype and implement new ideas, adding new systems, workflows, tools, libraries and more, including those from third parties.
Sony’s Media Backbone Hive is such a news production system. Cloud-native and built from the ground-up, Hive is flexible, scalable and open, using web APIs to streamline the news production process and ensure that the story, not the technology, comes first.
Stuart Almond is Head of Marketing and Communications, Media Solutions at Sony Professional Solutions Europe Not all news production systems are created equal That’s why Sony is leading the way, offering the highest levels of integration with third parties, because like many we can see what’s ahead and how our customers will benefit from a greater API future.