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Application Programming Interface (API)

An application program interface (API) refers to a set of parameters, protocols, and/or commands that determine how two software programs communicate with each other. Examples include the way the applications on your phone send data to the internet. APIs are critical software intermediaries that allow various data sets and programs to exchange information. As such, they are a critical component of the internet and are commonly used by software developers who are building applications for larger platforms. For instance, Apple and Google have numerous APIs.

What Small and Midsize Businesses Need to Know About Application Programming Interface (API)

APIs are so common that many small businesses use them without even knowing it. Software developers will regularly create programs that take advantage of a larger website's API. This enables continued development and innovation of the internet. This, in turn, presents real opportunities for software companies to create new business opportunities. For example, businesses can use APIs to build sales portals within larger apps, like Facebook. They can also use APIs to create apps for iPhones or Androids.

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