What is an API?
“API” stands for Application Programming Interface.
Does this definition or acronym of API help you to understand the meaning and usability of API?
So let’s talk about what it really means
“It’s a way for applications to talk to each other in a standardized manner.“
That’s it. That’s what API is
An API is a way for applicants to talk with each other
Now after reading this you may want some more explanation to understand the concept of API.
Let me explain through an example
If you are going to create a desktop application using WPF, the actual part of WPF is to create the user interface, which is what you use to create an interface for the application.
So you open a desktop application and enter information in the textboxes and hit buttons and so on, which is called a Graphical User Interface (GUI). Now that we talk to people, most people use GUIs for most parts, so if you have a website, it’s a GUI, you have a Graphical User Interface that you can look at graphically and interface with it. Meaning you can put information and hit buttons and can see things on the screen.
But APIs are a bit different. They are still user interfaces (you might be confused about this). Notice that an API is an Application Programming Interface. It’s an interface. So one might argue that computers aren’t users; well, they are.
Because What is a User? You can’t define a user as a person only, but actually, a user is someone who uses the application. In this case, applications are using other applications. So an API is a way for applications to talk to each other, so work is done in a standardized set of interfaces that another application can talk to.
Think of it like a class library. In a class library, we have a bunch of classes and methods.
Well, in the same way, an API has classes and methods that you can talk to. You can talk with the API and say “I want information from a specific method” and you will get it. If you want to put the information in or delete the information by using a specific method, you can do it, and it will do the job.
That’s what API is.
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