eForge Glossary: API (Application Programming Interface).

Sometimes your software development team throws out words that you don’t know. We’re here to help with our eForge Glossary. This week’s eForge Glossary term is Application Programming Interface or API for short.

API is basically a set of rules that programmers can use to talk to other people’s programs or pretty good software. There are lots of different ways to define APIs, but generally a programmer uses an API to integrate their client’s software with some third party tools. A good example might be when we’re designing software for a client that handles invoices or time tracking, and that client may want us to integrate with Quickbooks (an accounting package). Quickbooks is going to provide an API that lets our software create new Quickbook files or alter pre-existing Quickbook files. And so we are able to integrate with their software, to make something that works for our clients.

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