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Application Programming Interface (API)

August 5, 2009
What is this “API” thing
You often have to rely on others to perform functions that you may not be able or permitted to do by yourself, such as opening a bank safety deposit box. Similarly, virtually all software has to request other software to do some things for it.
To accomplish this, the  program uses a set of standardized requests, called application programming interfaces (API), that have been defined for the program being called upon. Almost every application depends on the APIs of the underlying operating system to perform such basic functions as accessing the file system. In essence, a program’s API defines the proper way for a developer to request services from that program.
An Application Programming Interface (API) defines how programmers utilize a particular computer feature. APIs exist for windowing systems, file systems, database systems, and, of course, networking systems. A set of library routine definitions with which third party software developers can write portable programs. There are more than a thousand API calls in a full-blown operating system such as Windows, Mac or UNIX.
Definitions of API
Application Programming Interface. The set of procedure calls that communicates with a linkable procedure library or an operating-system kernel or the combination of both.
Application Programming Interface. An API is the initial interface between an application and the hardware. It basically “talks” to the device drivers, telling them
Stands for “Application Program Interface,” though it is sometimes referred to as an “Application Programming Interface.” An API is a set of commands, functions, and protocols which programmers can use when building software for a specific operating system. The API allows programmers to use predefined functions to interact with the operating system, instead of writing them from scratch.
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