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<h1>Using the C API when Embedding<a class="headerlink" href="#using-the-c-api-when-embedding" title="Permalink to this headline"></a></h1>
<p>The <a class="reference external" href="c_api.html#ref-c-api"><em>C API</em></a> is intended to be called from handwritten code in
SIP generated modules. However it is also often necessary to call it from C or
C++ applications that embed the Python interpreter and need to pass C or C++
instances between the application and the interpreter.</p>
<p>The API is exported by the SIP module as a <tt class="docutils literal"><span class="pre">sipAPIDef</span></tt> data structure
containing a set of function pointers. The data structure is defined in the
SIP header file <tt class="docutils literal"><span class="pre">sip.h</span></tt>. The data structure is wrapped as a Python
<tt class="docutils literal"><span class="pre">PyCObject</span></tt> object and is referenced by the name <tt class="docutils literal"><span class="pre">_C_API</span></tt> in the SIP
module dictionary.</p>
<p>Each member of the data structure is a pointer to one of the functions of the
SIP API. The name of the member can be derived from the function name by
replacing the <tt class="docutils literal"><span class="pre">sip</span></tt> prefix with <tt class="docutils literal"><span class="pre">api</span></tt> and converting each word in the
name to lower case and preceding it with an underscore. For example:</p>
<p><tt class="docutils literal"><span class="pre">sipExportSymbol</span></tt> becomes <tt class="docutils literal"><span class="pre">api_export_symbol</span></tt></p>
<p><tt class="docutils literal"><span class="pre">sipWrapperCheck</span></tt> becomes <tt class="docutils literal"><span class="pre">api_wrapper_check</span></tt></p>
<p>Note that the type objects that SIP generates for a wrapped module (see
<a class="reference external" href="c_api.html#ref-type-structures"><em>Generated Type Structures</em></a>, <a class="reference external" href="c_api.html#ref-enum-type-objects"><em>Generated Named Enum Type Objects</em></a> and
<a class="reference external" href="c_api.html#ref-exception-objects"><em>Generated Exception Objects</em></a>) cannot be refered to directly and must be
obtained using the <a title="sipFindType" class="reference external" href="c_api.html#sipFindType"><tt class="xref docutils literal"><span class="pre">sipFindType()</span></tt></a> function. Of course, the
corresponding modules must already have been imported into the interpreter.</p>
<p>The following code fragment shows how to get a pointer to the <tt class="docutils literal"><span class="pre">sipAPIDef</span></tt>
data structure:</p>
<div class="highlight-python"><pre>#include &lt;sip.h&gt;
const sipAPIDef *get_sip_api()
PyObject *sip_module;
PyObject *sip_module_dict;
PyObject *c_api;
/* Import the SIP module. */
sip_module = PyImport_ImportModule("sip");
if (sip_module == NULL)
return NULL;
/* Get the module's dictionary. */
sip_module_dict = PyModule_GetDict(sip_module);
/* Get the "_C_API" attribute. */
c_api = PyDict_GetItemString(sip_module_dict, "_C_API");
if (c_api == NULL)
return NULL;
/* Sanity check that it is the right type. */
if (!PyCObject_Check(c_api))
return NULL;
/* Get the actual pointer from the object. */
return (const sipAPIDef *)PyCObject_AsVoidPtr(c_api);
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