What is an API?

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Introduction

If you’re a software developer, you’ve probably heard the term “application programming interface” (API) before. But unless you’re a programmer or have worked with one in the past, you might not be entirely sure what that means. What is an API? Is it different from a program or app? What does it do? How does it differ from other types of interfaces, like web services and mobile applications? In this article, we’ll take a look at all these questions so that by the end of your read through, you’ll know what APIs are and how they work.

What is an API?

An API, or application programming interface, is a set of tools that lets developers access and use an existing service, product, or platform.

For example, let’s say you wanted to create a website where users could post recipes for their favorite desserts. You could create the site yourself—but it would take a lot of time and effort. You’d have to find a way to build the site itself, then handle all of the user accounts and permissions. And then you’d have to find a way to make sure that the recipe posts are searchable and available to everyone who visits your site.

It would be much easier if someone else had already created a website that did all that stuff for you! That’s where an API comes in: it makes it easy for developers like you to take advantage of these existing services without having to do all the heavy lifting themselves.

Web service APIs allow interacting with web services and applications that are online via the web.

Web service APIs allow interacting with web services and applications that are online via the web. A good example of this is using a service like Google Translate to translate text from one language to another.

This page provides an overview of what they are, and how they work. We’ll also look at some examples of popular APIs used by developers today.

Mobile APIs are application programming interfaces for mobile computing, especially for mobile operating systems, such as Apple’s iOS, Google’s Android and Microsoft’s Windows Phone.

These are application programming interfaces for mobile computing, especially for mobile operating systems, such as Apple’s iOS, Google’s Android and Microsoft’s Windows Phone.

They are mostly used to access mobile device hardware, data and services from software applications.

Cloud API enables app developers to connect applications they build in the cloud with third-party services, such as social media, maps, analytics and more.

Cloud API enables app developers to connect applications they build in the cloud with third-party services, such as social media, maps, analytics and more.

The Cloud API provides a set of tools that allow you to quickly integrate external services into your application. For example, if you want to add someone’s Twitter profile picture as a user avatar within your app:

  • You can use the Cloud API SDKs provided by Twitter
  • Make an HTTP request through the Cloud API service endpoint (e.g., https://api-sandbox.twitter.com/1/users/show)
  • Handle the response and display the image

Today there are many types of APIs.

Today, there are many types of APIs. They are used in almost every field and by a variety of companies and people to connect devices, services, apps and data from one platform to another.

APIs can be used for various purposes:

  • To get information from one system into another
  • To share data between different systems or applications that may be running on different platforms or devices
  • To build new applications by connecting them together

Conclusion

APIs are very useful because they enable developers to build apps that interact with other applications. If you’re looking for an easy way to learn how APIs work, check out our API documentation or try our sandbox!

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