What is an API?
26 Jan 2011
An Application Programming Interface
(API) is a way for websites, programs, and mobile
applications to talk to each other.
APIs allow access to information, provide functionality or control electronic gadgets.
Companies develop APIs to allow partners and other developers access their information, services and hardware.
APIs come in many shapes and size. The most common type of API
today is known as REST
. REST works just like any other web site on the Internet.
Whereas people interact with computers via programs, websites, and mobile applications, those programs, web sites, and mobile applications interact with each other via APIs.
Every time you use your credit card, an API is used. When you visit a website, it often gets information and delivers its functionality through APIs, such as the latest articles from NY Times
. Mobile apps on your phone use APIs.
APIs are all around you. You just don't see them.