API stands for Application Programming Interface.
APIs, or Application Programming Interfaces, communicate between two applications or between different components within one application.
API is like a user interface that helps users communicate with a computer.
API can be language-dependent or language-independent. Language-dependent API can be used only by using the particular syntax of a programming language in which the API is implemented.
Language independent API is a generic service provider and can be called in any language. Generally, service-oriented APIs are language-independent.
API provides specific rules and instructions for a software program that would enable that program to communicate and utilize the services offered by another software or program. In this scenario, the API can be considered a bridge that links two different programs together.
The application programming interface is used by operating systems, applications, software, and enterprise systems. API provides a mechanism to define the vocabularies of a program and define how a host can call a function from the implementer.
Programming languages also use operating system APIs; for example, the COUT>> statement in C++ programming languages uses the Windows API for printing text on the screen. Similarly, the JAVA programming languages use various APIs for database connectivity and providing a user interface.
API can be defined for specific programs such as Google maps application programming interface, a service that enables Google maps display and simulation on a user’s computer, and the JAVA API used to provide XML services. Various software companies also release APIs to help developers build multiple applications using their services.