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Encyclopedia > Application Programming Interface

An application programming interface (API) is a source code interface that an operating system, library or service provides to support requests made by computer programs.[1] API as a three-letter acronym may refer to: Academic Performance Index (California) Academic Programs International, the provider of study-abroad programmes Active pharmaceutical ingredient Air Pollution Index in Hong Kong American Petroleum Institute Animal Protection Institute Application programming interface in computer software Asian/Pacific Islander, an abbreviation often used... Source code (commonly just source or code) is any series of statements written in some human-readable computer programming language. ... An interface defines the communication boundary between two entities, such as a piece of software, a hardware device, or a user. ... An operating system (OS) is a software that manages computer resources and provides programmers with an interface used to access those resources. ... Illustration of an application which may use libvorbisfile. ... In the context of Enterprise architecture, Service-orientation and Service-oriented architecture, the term service refers to a discretely defined set of contiguous and autonomous business or technical functionality. ... A computer program is a collection of instructions that describe a task, or set of tasks, to be carried out by a computer. ...

  • Language-dependent APIs are available only in a particular programming language. They utilize the syntax and elements of the programming language to make the API convenient to use in this particular context.
  • Language-independent APIs are written in a way they can be called from several programming languages. This is a desired feature for service style API which is not bound to a particular process or system and is available as a remote procedure call.

Contents

Remote procedure call (RPC) is a protocol that allows a computer program running on one computer to cause a subroutine on another computer to be executed without the programmer explicitly coding the details for this interaction. ...

API versus ABI

An API is typically defined at a higher level (i.e., in terms of a programming language that can be compiled when an application is built, rather than an explicit low level description of how data is laid out in memory). For example, the Linux Standard Base is an ABI, while POSIX is an API.[2] In computer software, an application binary interface (ABI) describes the low-level interface between an application program and the operating system, between an application and its libraries, or between component parts of the application. ... A programming language is an artificial language that can be used to control the behavior of a machine, particularly a computer. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Compile (software company). ... The Linux Standard Base, or LSB, is a joint project by several GNU/Linux distributions under the organizational structure of The Free Standards Group to standardize the internal structure of Linux-based operating systems. ... In computer software, an application binary interface (ABI) describes the low-level interface between an application program and the operating system, between an application and its libraries, or between component parts of the application. ... POSIX or Portable Operating System Interface[1] is the collective name of a family of related standards specified by the IEEE to define the application programming interface (API) for software compatible with variants of the Unix operating system. ...


Distinction between specification and its implementation

The software that provides the functionality described by an API is said to be an implementation of the API. The API itself is abstract, in that it specifies an interface and the behavior of the identifiers specified in that interface; it does not specify how the behavior may be implemented. In computer science, abstraction is a mechanism and practice to reduce and factor out details so that one can focus on a few concepts at a time. ...


Release policies

There are two general kinds of API publishing policies that are often encountered:

  1. Some companies protect information on their APIs from the general public. For example, Sony used to make its official PlayStation 2 API available only to licensed PlayStation developers. This enabled Sony to control who wrote PlayStation 2 games. Such control can have quality control benefits and potential license revenue.
  2. Some companies make their APIs freely available. For example Microsoft makes the Microsoft Windows API public and Apple releases its APIs Carbon and Cocoa so that software can be written for their platform.

Sony Corporation ) is a Japanese multinational corporation and one of the worlds largest media conglomerates with revenue of $66. ... PS2 redirects here. ... For other uses, see Game (disambiguation). ... Microsoft Corporation, (NASDAQ: MSFT, HKSE: 4338) is a multinational computer technology corporation with global annual revenue of US$44. ... Windows redirects here. ... Apple Inc. ... Carbon is the codename of Apple Computers APIs for the Macintosh operating system, which permits a good degree of backward compatibility between source code written to run on the classic Mac OS, and the newer Mac OS X. The APIs are published and accessed in the form of C... A Cocoa application being developed using Xcode. ... In computing, a platform describes some sort of framework, either in hardware or software, which allows software to run. ...

API examples

Below are listed some well known APIs.

BIOS Interrupt Calls are a facility that MS-DOS programs, and some other software such as boot loaders, use to invoke the BIOSs facilities. ... An interface defines the communication boundary between two entities, such as a piece of software, a hardware device, or a user. ... The Single UNIX Specification (SUS) is the collective name of a family of standards for computer operating systems to qualify for the name Unix. The SUS is developed and maintained by the Austin Group, based on earlier work by the IEEE and The Open Group. ... The Windows API, informally WinAPI, is the name given by Microsoft to the core set of application programming interfaces (APIs) available in the Microsoft Windows operating systems. ... Java Platform, Standard Edition or Java SE (formerly known up to version 5. ... Java Platform, Enterprise Edition or Java EE is a widely used platform for server programming in the Java programming language. ... ASPI, the Advanced SCSI Programming Interface provides an API originated by Adaptec which standardises communication on a computer bus between a SCSI host adapter on the one hand and SCSI (and ATAPI) peripherals on the other. ... Scuzzy redirects here. ... Carbon is the codename of Apple Computers APIs for the Macintosh operating system, which permits a good degree of backward compatibility between source code written to run on the classic Mac OS, and the newer Mac OS X. The APIs are published and accessed in the form of C... A Cocoa application being developed using Xcode. ... The first Macintosh computer, introduced in 1984, upgraded to a 512K Fat Mac. The Macintosh or Mac, is a line of personal computers designed, developed, manufactured, and marketed by Apple Computer. ... Mac OS X (pronounced ) is a line of graphical operating systems developed, marketed, and sold by Apple Inc. ... For the Internet appliance line, see Linksys iPhone. ... OpenGL (Open Graphics Library) is a standard specification defining a cross-language cross-platform API for writing applications that produce 2D and 3D computer graphics. ... Microsoft DirectX is a collection of application programming interfaces for handling tasks related to multimedia, especially game programming and video, on Microsoft platforms. ... Windows redirects here. ... Simple DirectMedia Layer (SDL) is a cross-platform multimedia free software library written in C that creates an abstraction over various platforms graphics, sound, and input APIs, allowing a developer to write a computer game or other multimedia application once and run it on many operating systems including GNU/Linux... Google Maps (for a time named Google Local) is a free web mapping service application and technology provided by Google that powers many map-based services including the Google Maps website, Google Ride Finder and embedded maps on third-party websites via the Google Maps API. It offers street maps... YouTube is a popular video sharing website where users can upload, view and share video clips. ...

Language bindings and interface generators

Below are listed some interface generator tools.

SWIG (Simplified Wrapper and Interface Generator) is a free computer software tool used to connect programs written in C/C++ with scripting languages such as Tcl, Perl, Python, Ruby, Guile, PHP and other languages like Java, C#, and Ocaml. ... Python is a general-purpose, high-level programming language. ... The title given to this article is incorrect due to technical limitations. ... This article is about the Java island. ... OpenGL (Open Graphics Library) is a standard specification defining a cross-language cross-platform API for writing applications that produce 2D and 3D computer graphics. ... Fortran (also FORTRAN) is a statically typed, compiled, programming language originally developed in the 1950s and still heavily used for scientific computing and numerical computation half a century later. ... Python is a general-purpose, high-level programming language. ...

See also

In computer software, an application binary interface (ABI) describes the low-level interface between an application program and the operating system, between an application and its libraries, or between component parts of the application. ... Hierarchy of objects in an example HTML DOM - Document Object Model The Document Object Model (DOM) is a platform- and language-independent standard object model for representing HTML or XML and related formats. ... A mashup is a web application that combines data from more than one source into a single integrated tool; a typical example is the use of cartographic data from Google Maps to add location information to real-estate data from Craigslist, thereby creating a new and distinct web service that... // Description Open Service Interface Definitions (OSIDs) are programmatic interface specifications describing services. ... For other uses, see Plug in. ... A software development kit (SDK or devkit) is typically a set of development tools that allows a software engineer to create applications for a certain software package, software framework, hardware platform, computer system, video game console, operating system, or similar. ... Web services architecture A Web service (also Web Service) is defined by the W3C as a software system designed to support interoperable Machine to Machine interaction over a network. ... 3D graphics have become so popular, particularly in computer games, that specialized APIs (application programming interfaces) have been created to ease the processes in all stages of computer graphics generation. ...

References

  1. ^ QuickStudy: Application Programming Interface (SAPI). ComputerWorld.
  2. ^ Update on Standards. USENIX.

External links


 
 

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