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Need For Application Programming Interface (API)

August 5, 2009
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There is the programmer (or team) developing the application and its API on one side and on the other the programmers using it. The important observation is that in both cases these two sides are separated – either compiled separately or developed in completely different groups with their own schedules, goals and needs.
It is exactly this separation that implies that rules for designing and maintaining an API. If there was no separation and the whole product was developed by tight team, build at once, there would be no need for bothering with API. But as the real world products are composed from a set of independent projects developed by teams that do not necessarily know about each other, have completely different schedules and build their projects independently, but still want to communicate among themselves there is a need for a stable contract that can be used for such communication.
Purpose:
The Need for Application Programming interface (API) are as follows
Open source code exposes every instruction and operation in an application and therefore offers the most flexibility. But understanding source code can be time-consuming, and it also exposes the author’s intellectual property. Developers can make requests by including calls in the code of their applications.
The syntax is described in the documentation of the application being called. By providing a means for requesting program services, an API is said to grant access to or open an application.
Building an application with no APIs is basically like building a house with no doors
APIs provide a quick and easy way to tap into an application, they can be constraining for certain power users such as independent software vendors
Corporate developers should consider including APIs in applications they develop, especially if they expect the applications to last and interact with other applications,
As time goes on, the likelihood that another developer will need to tap an application’s services increases. Having the foresight to include APIs saves subsequent developers from having to find and review the source code.
A good API makes it easier to develop a program by providing all the building blocks. A programmer then puts the blocks together.
Most operating environments, such as MS-Windows, provide an API so that programmers can write applications consistent with the operating environment.
Although APIs are designed for programmers, they are ultimately good for users because they guarantee that all programs using a common API will have similar interfaces. This makes it easier for users to learn new programs.
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