API - Detailed Explanation - API Libraries and Frameworks

API Libraries and Frameworks

An API is usually related to a software library: the API describes and prescribes the expected behavior while the library is an actual implementation of this set of rules. A single API can have multiple implementations (or none, being abstract) in the form of different libraries that share the same programming interface.

An API can also be related to a software framework: a framework can be based on several libraries implementing several APIs, but unlike the normal use of an API, the access to the behavior built into the framework is mediated by extending its content with new classes plugged into the framework itself. Moreover the overall program flow of control can be out of the control of the caller, and in the hands of the framework via inversion of control or a similar mechanisms.

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