The True Power of an API

What is an API?

"API stands for “application programming interface,” but that makes it sound more complicated than it really is.  More simply, an API is a set of rules of how one computer system can talk to another.  Say that I’d like to utilize Netflix instant streaming through my Blu-ray player. My player knows how to load my Netflix queue and stream a movie, but the software team at Netflix doesn’t have to write a complicated application for every Blu-ray player, web-enabled TV, mobile phone, or tablet. Instead, they have a small dictionary of how to talk to the Netflix internal system. The Blu-ray player, or any other device with a Netflix ‘app’ can use that dictionary and give me a similar experience as I would get through Netflix.com on my laptop. That dictionary is their API."

Notes

  1. knewton posted this

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