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A Summary of

What's an API?

by
Justin Gage
Technically
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An API is a group of logic that takes a specific input and gives you a specific output. Here are a few examples: - Google Maps API - Input- Address - Output - Lat/long coordinates - JavaScript Array - Sort API - Input - Group of numbers - Output - Sorting the numbers - Lyft Driver API - Input - Start and finish address - Output - Best driver available

Different API contexts

  • Internal company APIs
    • Companies which design their applications using a group of interacting APIs
    • E.g. Uber has add payment API and find driver API working together
  • Public APIs
    • Companies will make a few of their APIs available to the public and give a manual on how to use them
    • E.g. Twitter API- get user timeline API- through tutorials is taught to the public
  • Code interfaces
    • Developers also use API to refer to much lower level inputs and outputs
    • E.g. JavaScript's array.sort() method- sorts letters and gives them back as an output
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