API stands for application programming interface. It allows users to interact with various external software components that have their own APIs. You can come across APIs everywhere — even if you create an app from scratch, it will have internal APIs that are responsible for organizing code and making components more reusable.
What stands behind an application programming interface?
An application programming interface, or API, is represented as a set of programming code that requests data, analyses all responses, and transmits different instructions between software platforms. In the context of trading, a trader will surely use an API to establish a connection between a set of automated trading algorithms and the platform of that trader’s broker. This will allow the trader to gain the most relevant pricing information as well as the data about a trade placement.
Furthermore, in the era of blockchain, CryptoAPI is getting immensely popular. The most substantial benefit of CryptoAPI is that it allows you to connect dApps to blockchain networks, like Ethereum and Bitcoin, in a few seconds and without any commission. Thanks to it, you will be able to create and check wallets and review all transaction details. For sure, CryptoAPI has many more handy features, and in case you are interested in cryptocurrency trading, you should definitely consider CryptoAPI as a go-to tool.
What are the benefits of an application programming interface?
Since the introduction of automated trading systems, application programming interfaces have gained a lot of attention. There used to be a time when retail traders were made to look for suitable opportunities in one app and place trades with their broker in another one. As of today, quite a huge number of retail brokers provide APIs that allow traders to smoothly connect their screening software with the brokerage account so as to share the information about real-time pricing and placing orders. What is more, traders can create their own applications using such programming languages as Python and carry out trades with the help of a broker’s API.
Normally, there are two types of applications that traders use. These are third-party and developer applications.
As far as third-party apps are concerned, it’s worth noting that they are rather popular. These applications require access to broker’s APIs to get pricing data and learn whether traders can actually place their trades.
However, a bigger number of traders give their priority to developer applications, which allow them to design their own automated trading systems using such programming languages as Python. Just like third-party apps, developer apps also enable traders to gain access to pricing and placing of trades.
Are there any risks?
Despite the fact that APIs do have a lot of benefits, there are still some risks to consider. Most APIs are generally offered to customers for free. However, sometimes traders might be forced to pay an extra fee. In this case, traders should be aware of those fees as well as some other API limitations, including the potential for downtime that may exert a considerable impact on trading results.
Where can you find an application programming interface?
Among the most popular brokers that support API access in the stock and futures markets are TradeStation, TDAmeritrade, and InteractiveBrokers. Some smaller brokers are expanding their access too. Forex brokers take a particular interest in APIs as they have long been using third-party apps and trading systems.
Besides, a number of brokers offer online documentation for their APIs, thanks to which developers can learn what data is available, how to place orders using the API, and many other important technical aspects. Some brokers provide libraries in different languages in order to guarantee smooth integration with their API. For instance, a broker can offer a Python library that possesses a particular set of functions for placing a trade, thus removing the need to write your own functions. As a result, the process of developing a trading system gets much faster and less expensive.
All in all, APIs are a vital part of software design. If built correctly, APIs can bring a lot of benefits to traders and enable applications to exchange data easily and securely.