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Application programming interface
An Application Programming Interface (API) is a set of functions, procedures, methods or classes used by computer programs to request services from the operating system, software libraries or any other service providers running on the computer. A computer programmer uses the API to make application programs.
An API works by communicating with and exchanging data with other systems, acting as a messenger between the user and the system to retrieve the necessary data the user is requesting from the system.
Main types of web APIs:
- Open APIs - available to the public; they can be accessed by any external users.
- Partner APIs - available to strategic business partners; they are exposed to a public API dev portal.
- Internal APIs - available to a company's internal development teams; they are exposed to a private API dev portal.
- Composite APIs - are a sequence of tasks bundled into a single API call.