An application programming interface (API) is a type of software code that enables two programs or applications to communicate with each other.
At the surface, application programming interfaces (APIs) help two programs or applications communicate with each other by providing a set of rules that each program follows. Beneath the surface, there’s a much more complex set of steps taking place.
When a person uses an app on their phone, for example, they’re activating an application programming interface (API). In this case, the API connects and sends data to an internet server. The server interprets the data and sends it back to the application, using APIs as the connective tissue.
By connecting otherwise disparate programs, application programming interfaces (APIs) help drive digital innovation and enable businesses and consumers to use multiple programs at once and at scale.
In fact, many of today’s APIs are custom-built for specific usages, providing users with connected tools and resources tailored to meet their business needs. They’ve become essential to many organizations’ data and operational infrastructure.