What is an API ? Well, if you are not a programmer or an IT guy then this question can be tricky for you. A simple full form of API is Application Programming Interface. In programming a typical definition of API is, It is a combination of functions and procedures allows to creating an application which access data from some other service.
We can also say that an API is mode of communication between software’s. Now those software which are interacting through and API might be a thousand miles away or might reside on the same system.
Let’s understand What is an API ? with a simple example
Let’s discuss the working of you mobile’s Facebook app. You have a application in your mobile and there are Facebook server storing all the information and data at some remote location. Now there is a link in between the application in your mobile and remote servers, this link is called API. You mobile application calls the API to receive, send and modify the data of remote servers.
This is the simplest working of an API. There is a lot more and complex things an API do like providing a security layer and much more.
Now, What are the types of an API ?
1: Web APIs:
There are types of Web APIs known as
A: Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP)
B: Remote Procedure Call (RPC)
C: Representational State Transfer (REST).
2: Source-Code APIs:
Source code APIs offer libraries of objects, classes, etc. Source code APIs are often used in development projects to create a composite application. The calls are made according to the standards of the application environment such as J2EE or .NET.
There are many more definitions of an API, some are more complex and some are as collaborative as possible on internet. I tried making this as simple as even some non-technical person can also understand this.