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Mastering ArcGIS Server Development with JavaScript by Ken Doman

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Chapter 2. Digging into the API

An Application Programming Interface (API) defines the operations, formats, and data structures available from a networked service. The developer writes code using the API to tell a server to accomplish a task. An API is built on top of an existing programming language, and uses the syntax and features of the language to make communications with a computer easier to code.

At one point, ESRI had three web-based APIs to communicate with ArcGIS Server: Flash, Silverlight, and JavaScript. With the rise of the mobile web and improvements in browsers, the ArcGIS JavaScript API won as the browser of choice. To make the best use of the ArcGIS Server map features, it's best to learn what's available from the JavaScript API. ...

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