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API: Application Programming Interface, an application programming interface, is some predefined functions. The goal is to provide applications and developers with the ability to access a set of routines based on a software or hardware without having to access the source code or understand the details of the internal working mechanism. Simply put, it is the way to read/write data through a predefined channel.
API interface is widely used in APP, client, web page, software, etc. It is not only suitable for obtaining data (reading), but also for updating data, deleting data (writing) and other operations.
The data transmission mode of API interface is not only limited to HTTP protocol, but also can use TCP, UDP protocol and so on. Broadly speaking, API interface is a way of transmitting (manipulating) data.
In recent years, with the increasing scale of software, it is often necessary to divide complex systems into small components, so the design of programming interface is very important. In the practice of programming, the responsibility of software system should be reasonably divided in the design of programming interface. Good interface design can reduce the interdependence of various parts of the system, improve the cohesion of components, reduce the coupling degree between components, and improve the maintenance and scalability of the system.
The application program interface is “the code provided by the Operating System or the Program Library for application calls”.
Its main purpose is to enable application developers to invoke a set of routine functions without considering the underlying source code or understanding the details of its internal working mechanism. API itself is abstract. It defines only one interface, and does not involve the specific operation of the application in the actual implementation process.
For example, a set of APIs in a graphics library defines how to draw pointers, which can be displayed on a graphics output device. When an application needs pointer functionality, it can link to this set of APIs at reference and compilation time, and the implementation (library) of this API will be called at run time to display pointers.
The application program interface is a set of thousands of extremely complex functions and sub-programs, which allows programmers to do many tasks, such as “reading files”, “displaying menus”, “displaying web pages in windows” and so on. Operating system APIs can be used to allocate memory or read files. Many system applications are implemented by API interfaces, such as graphics systems, databases, web services, and even online games.
The application interface has many different designs. Interfaces for fast execution usually include functions, constants, variables, and data structures. There are other ways, such as through interpreters or providing abstraction layers to shield information related to API implementations, to ensure that code using APIs adapts to implementation changes without changing them.