Understanding Application Programming Interfaces (APIs)

Understanding Application Programming Interfaces (APIs)

Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) are at the very center of modern software development. What is an API? An API is a software intermediary that allows two applications to talk to each other. This article is an attempt to explain the concepts behind APIs in a way that's easy to understand and easy to relate to.

This article talks about Application Programming Interfaces (APIs). Today, APIs are at the very center of modern software development. They are becoming so common that phrases like “Hey! Use an API for this” or “There is already an API” are frequently used in conversations of software people. In fact, the lingo around APIs has started to be used in common day language as well. But there are times when “not-so-tech-savvy” people may find it difficult to wrap their heads around these terms. Hence, this article is an attempt to explain the concepts behind APIs in a way that's easy to understand and easy to relate to.

What is an API?

Before answering this question, let's think about a software program at a conceptual level. Fundamentally, a software program is a bunch of code that takes some input, does some processing, and gives some output. Very often, this code is a collection of reusable units like functions or modules, or routines.






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