Part of the Computing fundamentals glossary:

As a noun, an interface is either:

  1. A user interface, consisting of the set of dials, knobs, operating system commands, graphical display formats, and other devices provided by a computer or a program to allow the user to communicate and use the computer or program. A graphical user interface (GUI) provides its user a more or less "picture-oriented" way to interact with technology. A GUI is usually a more satisfying or user-friendly interface to a computer system.
  2. A programming interface, consisting of the set of statements, functions, options, and other ways of expressing program instructions and data provided by a program or language for a programmer to use.
  3. The physical and logical arrangement supporting the attachment of any device to a connector or to another device.

As a verb, to interface means to communicate with another person or object. With hardware equipment, to interface means making an appropriate physical connection so that two pieces of equipment can communicate or work together effectively.

This was last updated in April 2006
Posted by: Margaret Rouse

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