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API

Confused by what is API’s definition? It stands for Application Programming Interface. It’s a protocol that is used when there needs to be a data exchange between some kind of software components. In more simple terms, one API definition is a mechanism for software or a website to communicate with another piece of software or website. APIs make mixing data from third-party services with your own site or application possible. For example, Twitter.com was very successful when it started because of the well documented and open API. This means that anybody can create software or a website that allows them to send messages via Twitter. Initially, the website was very simple: it consisted of two simple elements. Then virtually every developer started coding an app that uses the Twitter API to add functionality that wasn’t there before like sending photos, uploading videos, manage groups, etc. When using apps like TweetDeck or TwitPic, you’re connecting to Twitter through its Application Programming Interface. If one has to define API, That’s API’s definition in a nutshell.

 

APIs – Why Are They Useful?

APIs are the function that allows different applications to talk to each other and work as a whole. Naturally, they are the best way for increasing the popularity of a platform or for building a new one on top of it. In the last few years, there have been some positive examples of good uses of APIs from projects like Twitter, Yelp and Google Maps. The result of taking data or functionality from one application and adding to it with another one to create a third new application is often called a mashup. Many popular online services have been created via an API from another service. The Internet is what it is today because of good communication. Application Programming Interfaces are exactly that. Many big companies give away a part of their functionality or data as an API for anyone that’s interested to use it. They can use that without wasting resources on developing what’s already been done, and combine it with their application. The end result is an entirely new product offering functionality that never existed before.

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