In computing, a plug-in (or plugin) is a set of software components that adds specific abilities to a larger software application. If supported, plug-ins enable customizing the functionality of an application. For example, plug-ins are commonly used in web browsers to play video, scan for viruses, and display new file types. Well-known plug-ins examples include Adobe Flash Player, QuickTime, and Java Applets.
Add-on (or addon) in computing is often considered the general term comprising snap-ins, plug-ins, extensions, and themes for software applications.
Applications support plug-ins for many reasons. Some of the main reasons include:
Specific examples of applications and why they use plug-ins:
As shown in the figure, the host application provides services which the plug-in can use, including a way for plug-ins to register themselves with the host application and a protocol for the exchange of data with plug-ins. Plug-ins depend on the services provided by the host application and do…