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Application Programming Interface (API)

An Application Programming Interface (API) is a set of rules, protocols, and tools that allows different software applications to communicate with each other. It defines the methods and data formats that applications can use to request and exchange information.

APIs can be used in various scenarios, such as:

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Web APIs

These are APIs that allow communication between different web services. They are commonly used in web development to enable interaction between different web applications.

Operating System APIs

These APIs allow applications to interact with the underlying operating system. They provide functions for tasks such as file management, memory allocation, and process control.

Hardware APIs

These APIs enable software to interact with hardware devices, such as printers, cameras, and sensors.

Library APIs

Libraries often provide APIs that allow developers to use their functions and data structures in their own applications.

APIs are essential for software development because they allow developers to leverage existing functionality and data without having to build it from scratch. They also enable the creation of modular and scalable software systems by promoting code reuse and encapsulation.

APIs are typically documented to provide developers with information on how to use them, including details about available endpoints, request and response formats, authentication methods, and error handling.