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An API ("Application Programming Interface") is one or more libraries with a uniform interface for an intended field of usages rather than a particular usage (compare with engine). APIs are generally an intermediate layer between lower-level (OS or hardware) operations and application code that abstracts, simplifies or organises these into higher-level calls. For instance, OpenGL and DirectX (Direct3D) are APIs for 3D graphics written on top of graphics hardware (which is usually idiosyncratic) that provides an abstracted and hardware-independent interface to using there.

Compare with framework and engine.

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