#97 What Are APIs?
Play • 17 min

An Application Programming Interface (API) is a specification for how a piece of software provides functionality to other pieces of software. APIs can broadly be categorized into two categories: local and remote. Local APIs are provided by libraries from the operating system vendor or third parties. Remote APIs are specifications for how software on one computer can provide functionality to software on another computer, typically across the Internet. Today, remote APIs are almost all web services provided over HTTPS and encoded in JSON or XML. Modern software is not built from scratch—it is layered atop other software that has its functionality exposed through APIs.

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