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 API is not an "interface" in the ordinary sense

API is written in English as "application programming interface". But if you think this "interface" as in the phrases "window interface", "touch interface", "iOS interface", you have misunderstood. API is an "interface" between the software with the software. API is a way for the software (OS, applications, modules in enterprise systems...) to communicate with each other and leverage each other's capabilities.

API is the coupling among software components

For example, across all computing devices, the operating system is the only software capable of accessing the hardware device. Therefore, the operating system will have to provide the API to write files, read files, collect and transmit data from the graphics card, collect and transmit data from the network card... When you need to burn disk, the application will call the corresponding API of the operating system. This ensures the application developers do not need to learn binary code and sophisticated principles to interact with the hard drive.

Or, you can use your Facebook account to log in to a lot of sites that are not controlled by Facebook. Users can use their Facebook personal information on these pages, the only thing this social network to do is create an API to log in Facebook account. Each time you click on "Login with Facebook" on Instagram, WhatsApp or Quora, the site / app will "call" to the API of Facebook. Facebook will perform identity authentication.

In fact, today saying to the software progress is talking to the API. The clouds such as Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services or Google Cloud Platform are all offered via the API. The popular software of Apple like HealthKit, HomeKit or all of the SDK (software development kit) in general is most importantly mainly API. If you understand API, you do not have to confuse when catching the term "SDK" again, because each SDK includes APIs available and developers can create a single product in a easier way. For example, SDK HealthKit has many APIs to develop health applications easily. Other components of the SDK as the development tools, the documentation are only secondary to the API.

In short, if you never start coding, the information about the API will never directly affect you. But they have meaning more important than all finished products: it can be said that despite the lack of Windows, Android or iOS, humanity could still survive. However, without API the world will undoubtedly stop spinning. The APIs of the operating system are the basis for the explosion of software. APIs of modules in the enterprise system are the basis for economic development. The breakthrough APIs, such as Microsoft's API, will elevate the quality of applications and software services to the next level.

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