Application programming interface

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An Application Programming Interface (API) is a set of functions, procedures, methods or classes used by computer programs to request services from the operating system, software libraries or any other service providers running on the computer. A computer programmer uses the API to make application programs.

An API works by communicating with and exchanging data with other systems, acting as a messenger between the user and the system to retrieve the necessary data the user is requesting from the system.

Types of API include web services API like the Twitter API, which allows programs to use the API to receive updates on tweets.