Both API and Open source are quite interchangeable terms commonly used in the product, operations, and development teams. While some know, a great percentage of people are completely unaware of the difference between the two terms – API and Open Source and consider them to be similar. Well, no, it isn’t like that. The tech people offer enthusiasm when there is a thought of opening up a free web API. but when the same idea is offered to business people, there is an instant sign of perplexity.
Business people are curious about many facts – starting from how it will affect their business. Will it help avert abuse? How will that affect their jobs, and so on? Maximum people resemble business folks who have no clue about the difference between open source and API. A common question prevailed among the newbies whether opening an API will automatically lead to the opening source software as well. This article will delve deeply into the difference between these two.
What is API?
The maximum number of applications that you run on your computer or laptop’s user interface comprise buttons to click, dragging icons, or text fields for typing. A few of the applications utilize the terminal as an intersection for the user to pen down commands instead of clicking on buttons or dragging icons. Coming application programming interface or API, this one is also an interface specifically meant for applications and not users.
There is no doubt that all computers or laptops are curated for users. But, when it comes to an API, writing code becomes more convenient. API holds much significance for computers as compared to humans. For humans, accessing an API would only lead to inefficiency. But for computers, public APIs or paid one is a beneficial way of sending across signals and receiving meaningful data in return. An API can be accessed either locally or over a network, and the biggest is the internet. Furthermore, they are outlined in a way to accept information from programming languages and protocols.
The open API or the public API is accessed by anyone without any hindrance. These APIs are majorly helpful for third-party software developers for uniting pieces of your website into theirs. To explain this, let us take the example of Yahoo’s open search APIs where the audience can incorporate Yahoo’s search into their site.
What is the Idea Governing an API?
It’s been ages since paid or open source API has been ruling the sphere. It is because of their unrestricted nature that software developers can entirely leverage their utility. But, open APIs are even more practical for the business development sphere. Just like open-source software enables software advancement in a decentralized and independent method, the open source API enacts the same for business development.
What is Open Source?
The idea of open source has been prevalent for quite a prolonged time now. It means free dispersion of the source code about a piece of software. It was in the late 1990s that the term open source not only came into existence but became a great hit. That is when the internet thrived by associating in a large-scale measure with software development. And also when the ‘.com’ boost geared up the new business models revolving around Linux and similar open-source projects.
A few of the renowned open source projects are the Linux operating system, the Firefox web browser (that is recognized because of acquiring a gigantic amount of market share from Microsoft’s Internet Explorer), the Apache web server (that is known to cater to 60% of all sites on the web), and SendMail (which is popular for delivering vast amounts of email around the web).
What is the Idea Behind Governing an Open Source?
If we talk about the driving idea behind open source, it is mainly to disperse away the source code of software for someone to work on it, study it, fix it, or boost it. Eventually, it leads to a better ability to produce software, making the developers and customers satiated. Though, it needs to be noted that the recent day source code is unlike the age-old source code where the distribution of source code of the business models was completely kept secure and private.
Previously, in the closed-source model, software advancement is centralized. A central team of developers only had ingress to the source code, and all the alternations are made by them. The customers were responsible for requesting or fixing a new feature. Then it was examined and prioritized by the product managers for shifting them to the development queue. Some day, this might get a chance to get into the software.
There is quite a thick line of difference between an open source and an API. This article offers a thorough understanding of both terms with proper examples as well.