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API (Application Program Interface) is a set of defined functions or methods that is used to compile the application. It defines the contract of communication or standard interface provided by software components for others (other software components) to interact with them.APIs play an important role in cloud computing. When some cloud services are released, corresponding APIs (referred to as cloud API) are also released as they are critical for the usefulness and operational success of those services. Cloud services generally provide well-defined APIs for their consumers so that anyone can access and use the capabilities offered to develop applications or services. Request for data or computation can be made to cloud services through cloud APIs. Cloud APIs expose their features via REST or SOAP. For instance, the cloud APIs can be classified as IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) API for resource configuration or workload management, PaaS (Platform as a Service) API to integrate with database service, etc. and SaaS (Software as a Service) API to integrate with application services like ERP or CRM. Both vendor-specific and cross-platform APIs are available, but cross-platform APIs are still not widespread in the cloud computing arena and are available for specific functional areas only. APIs streamline access to cloud services and enforce adherence to compliance.

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