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What Is API? Application Program Interface or simply known as API is a set of protocols, routines as well as tools required to build software applications. API is specifying how the software components will interact to each and in addition, it is also used when programming components for GUIs or Graphical User Interface. Truth is, a good API makes it less challenging to make a program by providing the building blocks which are put together by the programmer. There are different types of APIs and these are widely used nowadays for applications, websites or even operating systems. As an example, Windows makes use of different API sets that are being used by system applications as well as hardware and when copying and pasting text from one app to the other, basically it is the API that does the work. Just a GUI makes it a lot easier for people to make use of programs. Application programming interfaces make life simpler for developers to use some technologies to build applications. By exposing actions or objects that the developer needs and abstracting the underlying implementation, the API helps in reducing cognitive load on the part of the programmer.
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While the graphic interface for email client may provide the user with a button that is performing all steps for highlighting and fetching new emails, API for file input and output may give developers a function that can copy a file from one location to a different one without requiring the developer to understand the file system operation that occurs behind the scenes.
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As what said earlier, APIs have different uses and purposes so it is not really surprising if there are APIs on frameworks and libraries, operating systems, web and in fact, there are API for SEO as well. Some of the popular uses of APIs are in Google Maps and YouTube whether you believe it or not. In Google Maps for instance, APIs make it possible for the developers to embed Google Maps on websites by using Flash interface or JavaScript while in YouTube, it allows videos and functionality of the site to be integrated to apps or websites. Because of the reason that YouTube has live streaming API, YouTube Player API and many more, it has become possible for us to watch and play live stream YouTube videos even though we are not directly on the website. The truth is that, the usability of the app is directly affected by the way the API is designed. For this reason, the API’s design is meant to deliver only the tools that a user expects from it. The design for programming interfaces is representing a crucial role in software architecture or the organization of complex piece of software.