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  1. What Is
June 22, 2016updated 09 Jan 2017 4:40pm

What is an API?

Remove the confusion and find out what an API does.

By James Nunns

An Application Programming Interface, commonly referred to as an API, is a set of programming instructions and standards for accessing a Web-based software application or Web tool.

An API works by specifying how software components should interact and are used when programming graphical user interface components.

Numerous different API’s exist, such as the Google Maps API which lets developers embed Google Maps on to web pages using something like JavaScript.

Click to the next page to see more examples of popular APIs.

Most operating environments provide APIs in order to allow programmers to write applications that are consistent with the operating environment.

Further examples of APIs can be seen with YouTube, Flickr, Twitter, and Amazon. Twitter for example offers two APIs, a REST API that allows developers to access core Twitter data, and the Search API provides methods for developers to interact with Twitter Search and trends data.

REST stands for Representational State Transfer, it is an architecture style for designing networked applications.

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