WhatIs: API

When you use other software as tools to develop your software products, you write your software obeying a set of rules in order to communicate with the tool software. This set of rules is called API. API is an acronym for application programming interface.

Take DirectX for example: The operating system Windows restricts direct access to hardware such as video cards, keyboards, mice, sound devices. This limits video games' performance on Windows. So programmers came up with an API called DirectX to fix the issue.

API refers to the way to communicate with tool software, not the tool software itself. The tool software, some of which are called libraries or frameworks, is the implementation of this set of rules.

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