API - application program interface
API, an abbreviation of application program interface, is a set of routines, protocols, and tools for building software applications. The API specifies how software components should interact and are used used when programming graphical user interface (GUI) components. A good API makes it easier to develop a program by providing all the building blocks. A programmer then puts the blocks together.
Types of APIs
There are many different types of APIs for operating systems, applications or for websites. Windows, for example, has many API sets that are used by system hardware and applications — when you copy and paste text from one application to another, it is the API that allows that to work.
Most operating environments, such as MS-Windows, provide an API so that programmers can write applications consistent with the operating environment. Today, APIs are also specified by websites. For example, Amazon or eBay APIs allow developers to use the existing retail infrastructure to create specialized web stores. Third-party software developers also use Web APIs to create software solutions for end-users.
Popular API Examples
Programmable Web, a site that tracks more than 9,000 APIs, lists Google Maps, Twitter, YouTube, Flickr and Amazon Product Advertising as the most popular APIs (view all sorted by popularity).
Example API Use : Charting Your Course Using the Google Maps API.
2. YouTube APIs: YouTube API: Google's APIs lets developers integrate YouTube videos and functionality into websites or applications. YouTube APIs include the YouTube Analytics API, YouTube Data API, YouTube Live Streaming API, YouTube Player APIs and others.
3. Flickr API: The Flickr API is used by developers to access the Flick photo sharing community data. The Flickr API consists of a set of callable methods, and some API endpoints.
4. Twitter APIs: Twitter offers two APIs. The REST API allows developers to access core Twitter data and the Search API provides methods for developers to interact with Twitter Search and trends data.
Example API Use : Using the Twitter API to Create an Early Alert System.
5. Amazon Product Advertising API: Amazon's Product Advertising API gives developers access to Amazon's product selection and discovery functionality to advertise Amazon products to monetize a website.
- Enterprise Mobility Exchange results show continued growth and emphasis on mobility. CIOInsight breaks down the numbers here. »
- Watch Datamation's editor James Maguire moderate roundtable discussions with tech experts from companies such as Accenture, Dell, Blue Jeans Network, Microsoft and more »
From the widest view, everything that we include under the heading of mobile has irrevocably changed IT's relationship with the rest of the... Read More »Choosing an Enterprise Storage Implementation
When you deploy a new enterprise storage system, you must decide whether to design and build your own storage system or to utilize a cloud-based... Read More »Big Data Analytics Expert Predictions
In this Webopedia Did You Know...? article we look at three big data expert predictions for 2014. Read More »
Keeping track of big data trends, research and statistics gives IT professionals a solid foundation to plan big data projects. Here are 15... Read More »Enterprise Storage Vendors
There's a number of vendors that sell enterprise storage hardware or offer cloud-based enterprise storage. View Webopedia's Enterprise storage... Read More »50 Cloud Computing Terms Defined
From planning a private cloud project to finding an online cloud storage provider, Webopedia's A-Z Cloud Computing Glossary will help you... Read More »