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API : Application Programming Interface
API : Application Programming Interface
Wikipedia reference
One of the primary purposes of an API is to describe how computer applications and software developers may access a set of (usually third party) functions (for example, within a library) without requiring access to the source code of the functions or library, or requiring a detailed understanding of the functions' internal workings. The software which provides the functionality described by the API is said to be an implementation of the API. The API itself is abstract, as it is an interface.
For example, an API might describe how an application may call an icon-drawing function within a graphics library, for displaying icons in the screen. A programmer can write a program which calls the icon-drawing function described in the API. When compiled the compiler will link against the API. When executed, the program will use the implementation of the API (a library) to draw the icon.
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