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api and spi

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Hi ranchers

I don't understand the difference between api and spi in netbeans platform, anyone may help me??

thanks in advance

SCJP 1.4, SCJP 1.5
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API = Application Programming Interface

SPI = Service Provider Interface

My dim understanding is that an API would what you program to in order to tightly bind to a set of services - generally as a local library.

An SPI, on the other hand, would commonly bind to a more dynamic ("plug-compatible") set of services. In my experience, these services are often remotely supplied, but by acquiring a suitable proxy object implementing the SPI you get the same effect as if you were calling a local service.

Except for the actual process of acquiring the service object, the difference to the application programmer is minimal.

That's my interpretation. Corrections/clarifications anyone?
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