What's an API?

An API is an Application Programming Interface. It allows the transfer of information between two or more programs. Typically, an API has a specification that must be followed to ensure that the information being transferred follows the terms of use agreed between both software parties.

API Terms & Definitions

  • Requests and Responses

    Something is requested in the correct API format and the API then responds with what was requested.

  • REST

    REST stands for REpresentational State Transfer and is a set of rules and characteristics that need to be followed for the API.

  • HTTP Methods

    When working with an API, something called HTTP Methods are used to request the information.

  • Endpoints

    An Endpoint is a connection point that accepts requests to access resources on an API. Endpoints are ‘exposed’ so that they can be called.

  • API Documentation

    API Documentation lists the rules for the APIs. This is where you can see the functionality that is available by making different API calls.

  • API Calls

    Are exchanges in information. An API Call means that the user hits an Endpoint with an expression the API is expecting and the API then responded with the information required.

  • Payloads

    A Payload is the response returned by an API.

  • Response Codes

    Every response received from an API has its own Response Code, this is a number and each number has a defined meaning. The code indicates the status of the response (e.g. Success, Resource Moved, Problem on Client Side, Problem on Server Side etc.).

  • Headers

    When a response is sent to an API and received back from an API it contains a Header. The Header contains additional information which is sent and received along with the API.

  • Authentication

    Authentication proves who you are and what you are authorized to do. In order to access an API, the software needs to use the correct authentication token. OAuth 2.0 is used by Accuro EMR to authenticate and authorize API partners.