In the realm of technology and software development, APIs are cool tools and protocols that can help you retrieve data from web services or apps. As a developer, you are always looking for useful APIs to add to your portfolio. And when you find an interesting one, you’ll ever be tempted to try it out. However, APIs come in different sizes and shapes. Some are dead simple to use, and then there are the overly complicated APIs that leave you scratching your head. For you to consume a vast array of related APIs, there is a need for a more refined way to make the overly sophisticated APIs simpler. This is where API wrappers come in handy.
What is an API Wrapper?
In technology, a wrapper is any framework or entity that is used to mask or wrap another item. It serves two purposes when used in programming. First, it helps you convert data into a compatible format. Secondly, it helps simplify a complex entity or makes a program perform complicated tasks easily using what is known as abstraction.
In that line, an API wrapper is a language-specific package or kit that encapsulates multiple API calls to make complicated functions easy to use. It helps developers call various APIs without the need for their real-time interaction. As such, wrappers can be used to automate API-reliant processes. Since APIs allow users to access a set of specific standard functions, API wrappers can help you integrate multiple API calls into a single service.
For instance, let’s say you want to search for a specific subreddit on Reddit, but the app or program you are creating wants to access targeted sets in the particular subreddits. Instead of calling an API three times, you can call the wrapper function, which will combine all the three API calls into a single task. While an API will require you to make individual calls for each function to Reddit, the API wrap makes the process simpler by allowing you to make all the calls at the same time as a single function.
What does an API wrapper do?
In A nutshell, an API wrapper combines multiple calls to access specific standard functions. It can also be used to make apps or programs to perform more complicated tasks in a less indulging format.
Additionally, programmers can use API wrappers to institute precise controls that APIs often miss. For instance, when dealing with an app or program that permits you to enter some texts into a field, most of the time, the APIs you are using may allow some prohibited text symbols that are not required. This makes you keep receiving an error when you try to call the API as many times as possible. However, an API wrapper validates the texts you enter before you call the API. For example, if your app doesn’t allow the use of %, an API may allow you to enter it into the text field and make repeated calls until you realize your mistake. But with an API wrap, your text will be validated and all unallowed symbols such as % will be eliminated before you make any calls.
How do you use an API wrapper?
In most cases, you can use API wrappers to engulf multiple APIs that help you combine various calls that help you access a set of related functions, rather than constructing multiple HTTP API requests from scratch.
You can also use wraps to try and return data in a familiar data structure different from the one offered by the language. This will broaden the idiomatic ways of accessing and manipulating such data.
With an API wrap, you don’t need to fetch any information from an API when making a call. The specific functions that can be accessed via a given API are encapsulated into a single package.