Application Program Interface (API)

What is an Application Program Interface (API)?

An API is a set of programming instructions and standards for accessing web-based software applications. A software company releases its API to the public so other software developers can design products powered by its service. For example, Amazon released its Product Advertising API so that website developers could access Amazon's product data and display relevant products on their websites with just a few lines of code.

In simple terms, an API allows two pieces of software to communicate without any intermediate steps or manual intervention.

APIs have been around for a long time as libraries that include routines, variables, and function calls that programmers can use to create new software or manipulate existing ones. However, the term "API" is more commonly used about web-based applications.

When you make a call to an API, the server responds with data in either XML or JSON format which can then be processed by your application.

An Application Program Interface (API) is a set of tools, protocols, and routines for building software applications. An API enables the interaction between two or more applications that are written in different programming languages. For example, IBM’s APIs can access cloud services to integrate data from multiple systems into one application or deploy an application across multiple systems. IBM's APIs also provide access to IBM-specific capabilities such as Watson Machine Learning and Natural Language Understanding, meaning developers can use these technologies quickly and easily in their own programming projects. By providing concise request and response structures, APIs allow developers to learn how they work and build upon them accordingly quickly.[1]

APIs serve as the backbone for communication between different software components. The Client Server Architecture is pivotal in understanding how APIs facilitate this communication, especially in web services where clients and servers exchange data and functionalities.

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