NOTICE: Citizendium is still being set up on its newer server, treat as a beta for now; please see here for more.
Citizendium - a community developing a quality comprehensive compendium of knowledge, online and free. Click here to join and contribute—free
CZ thanks our previous donors. Donate here. Treasurer's Financial Report -- Thanks to our content contributors. --

Application programming interface

From Citizendium, the Citizens' Compendium
(Redirected from API)
Jump to: navigation, search
This article is developing and not approved.
Main Article
Talk
Related Articles  [?]
Bibliography  [?]
External Links  [?]
Citable Version  [?]
 
This editable Main Article is under development and not meant to be cited; by editing it you can help to improve it towards a future approved, citable version. These unapproved articles are subject to a disclaimer.

An application programming interface (API) is the set of conventions by which a user application program written for a specific purpose communicates with software infrastructure such as the operating system, data base management services, web services, etc. Non-web-based APIs are specific to programming languages, although there may be multiple APIs to access the same service.

The application service presented may be by a physical computer, or an abstraction such as a Java virtual machine or a .NET common language runtime.

User applications, in this context, could serve either human or computer users. A web browser, word processor, or computer game is an application with a human interface. Alternatively, an electrical power grid manager, a missile guidance system or the control of a cardiac pacemaker is an application that serves a computer.

The term "application layer", in Computer networking reference models, refers to the services that support applications, not the applications themselves. APIs provide access to the top of the application layer.