An Application Programming Interface, or API, is a set of clearly defined methods of communication between various software components. An effective API makes it easier to develop a computer program by providing all the building blocks, which are then put together by the developer. As an API abstracts underlying implementation and exposes only those objects or actions the developer needs, it can significantly simplify programming. The MAQ®20 data acquisition and control system uses a PythonTM API; this employs an object-oriented approach for communicating with MAQ20 systems, thereby providing an intuitive interface where the low-level Modbus® commands are hidden from normal use. As a result, users can focus on solving the measurement problems at hand and designing host software to best meet application needs. MAQ20 Python API features include: System Communication: To MAQ20 systems from a host PC over Ethernet. Configuration: Auto-read and local storage of system configuration for faster operation. I/O Module Interface: Simple read data and write data functions are used for intuitive and efficient application building. Additional functions interface to advanced I/O module features. Utilities Module: Includes commonly used support functions. Error Messaging: Useful for code development and troubleshooting. Examples: Sample code outlines basic operations and GUI development. Two common approaches in using the Python API in projects are: Installing along the Python interpreter, which makes the API available for all projects. Copying into the project folder, which makes the API available for only that project. The Python API is designed in a layered structure. Before using the MAQ20 Python API, users will want to be acquainted with both basic Python programming and the concept of objects. Established in 1984, Dataforth today is the world leader in data acquisition and control, signal conditioning, and data communication products for industrial applications. All Dataforth products are manufactured in the USA and have been RoHS Compliant since 2006. The Dataforth Quality Management System is ISO9001:2008 registered. For additional information, call 800-444-7644 toll-free, email email@example.com, or visit www.dataforth.com.