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Application Programmable Interface

An API is a component for a specific piece of software which enables other software to communicate with it. It can also be defined as a group of functions provided for a programmer to call either locally or remotely using a defined calling convention. For example, if you wanted to write some code to embed Google Maps into your website, you would have to read about the Google Maps API, then write code that makes requests to the Google Maps servers using the API protocols, which in result would allow you to embed Google Maps onto your website.

API technologies

The Web

Web services

Web services use the HTTP protocol verbs (GET, PUT, POST, DELETE...) to propose read-only or read/write access to data services.

Remote Procedure Calls

RPC is a technology used to call remote procedures (pieces of code) and to retrieve the results, most often over a network. Using a RPC technology (Corba, RMI...) one may call a function with arguments to a remote service, and retrieve the result in normalized form, bypassing the endianness and other cross-platform issues.

General software

Software Libraries

COM objects (Windows)