An interface is the place where two different things meet and interact. This term often comes up with regard to computers. Data processing takes place inside the computer, and thoughts take place inside the user of the computer, and they meet at an interface, which is a keyboard and a monitor screen (and usually speakers as well). Normally, the term interface is most commonly used in networking world. All networking equipment of the world are connected through interfaces in order to make intelligible communications such as-routers, switches, hubs-these devices has interfaces. One important characteristic of interface is that they should have the combination of input and output.
1 Hardware interfaces:
An architecture used to interconnect two devices together. It includes the design of the plug and socket, the type, number and purpose of the wires and the electrical signals that are passed across them. USB, FireWire, Ethernet, DVI, HDMI, PCI and PCI Express are examples of hardware interfaces. Hardware interfaces exist in computing systems connecting many of the components such as the various buses, storage devices, other I/O devices, etc. A hardware interface is described by the mechanical, electrical and logical signals at the interface and the protocol for sequencing them (sometimes called signaling). A standard interface, such as SCSI, decouples the design and introduction of computing hardware, such as I/O devices, from the design and introduction of other components of a computing system, thereby allowing users and manufacturers to have great flexibility in the implementation of computing systems. Hardware interfaces can be parallel where performance is important or serial where distance is important.
2 Software interfaces:
A software interface may refer to a range of different types of interfaces at different "levels": an operating system may interface with pieces of hardware, applications or programs running on the operating system may need to interact via streams, and in object oriented programs, objects within an application may need to interact via methods. The terms software and hardware are used as both nouns and adjectives. For example, you can say: "The problem lies in the software," meaning that there is a problem with the program or data, not with the computer itself. You can also say: "It's a software problem." The distinction between software and hardware is sometimes confusing because they are so integrally linked. Clearly, when you purchase a program, you are buying software. But to buy the software, you need to buy the disk (hardware) on which the software is recorded. Software is often divided into two categories:
- Systems software : Includes the operating system and all the utilities that enable the computer to function. -Applications software : Includes programs that do real work for users. For example, word processors, spreadsheets, and database management systems fall under the category of applications software.
Software is the general term for information that is recorded onto some kind of medium. For example, when you go to the video store and rent or buy a tape or DVD, what you're really getting is the software that's stored on that tape or disk. Your VCR or DVD player are hardware devices that are capable of reading the software from a tape or disk and projecting it onto your TV screen, in the form of a movie.
Your computer is a hardware device that reads software too. Most of the software on your computer comes in the form of programs. A program consists of "instructions" that tell the computer what to do, how to behave. Just as there are thousands of albums you can buy on CD for your stereo, and thousands of movies you can buy to play on your VCR or DVD player, there are thousands of programs that you can buy to run on your computer.
When you buy a computer, you don’t automatically get every program produced by every software...