API 101 - What are APIs?

14 Jan 2015
by: Chase Fryer

An API, or Application Programming Interface, at its most fundamental level, is how software applications talk to each other over the Internet. Websites and mobile apps use the internet to allow humans to communicate and share information, while APIs use the internet to allow applications to communicate and share information. APIs are increasingly the way in which companies exchange data, services and complex resources, both internally, externally with partners, and openly with the public.

As the world has become more and more digital, connected experiences have gone from one form factor (your desktop) to a multitude of devices (phones, tablets, readers, game consoles, DVD players, etc). And even now we’re just starting to experience the next big wave as connectivity expands to an even larger sea of internet-enabled ‘things’ (thermostats, cars, equipment, appliances, etc). The proliferation of all of these connected devices requires a committed focus on APIs – the connecting fabric of today and tomorrow’s digital world.