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What Is An API Endpoint?

Definition

To better understand what an API endpoint is, it's best to understand what an API [→] is in the first place.

Simply put an Application Programming Interface (API) is a combination of specifications and code that allows a client t e.g.: a frontend or third-party server or another service to access its functionalities in general through the HTTP protocol [↗].

Endpoints expose the individual functionalities that an API has to offer.

Example

Let's assume we have a payment service [→] that provides its users with an API in other to process payments.

Let's say this API is a RESTful API [↗] with a base URL [→] www.example-api.com.

To get the list of processed payments the API might have the following endpoint: www.example-api.com/payments/processed?charge=20&date=2023.

In the above example, the endpoint itself starts right after the base URL. i.e.: /payments/processed, followed by a list of possible filters i.e.: charge and date.

Summary

A good place to see the different forms an endpoint can take, checkout the pet store example [↗] visualized using the OpenAPI Specification rendering tool.

Here is another article you might like 😊 "Openapi Array Of Objects Example"