OpenGL is the premier environment for developing portable, interactive 2D and 3D graphics applications. Since its introduction in 1992, OpenGL has become the industry's most widely used and supported 2D and 3D graphics application programming interface (API), bringing thousands of applications to a wide variety of computer platforms. OpenGL fosters innovation and speeds application development by incorporating a broad set of rendering, texture mapping, special effects, and other powerful visualization functions. Developers can leverage the power of OpenGL across all popular desktop and workstation platforms, ensuring wide application deployment.

Any visual computing application requiring maximum performance-from 3D animation to CAD to visual simulation-can exploit high-quality, high-performance OpenGL capabilities. These capabilities allow developers in diverse markets such as broadcasting, CAD/CAM/CAE, entertainment, medical imaging, and virtual reality to produce and display incredibly compelling 2D and 3D graphics.

The OpenGL 4.4 and OpenGL Shading Language 4.40 Specifications were released on July 22, 2013.

OpenGL ES is a royalty-free, cross-platform API for full-function 2D and 3D graphics on embedded systems - including consoles, phones, appliances and vehicles. It consists of well-defined subsets of desktop OpenGL, creating a flexible and powerful low-level interface between software and graphics acceleration. OpenGL ES includes profiles for floating-point and fixed-point systems and the EGL specification for portably binding to native windowing systems. OpenGL ES 1.X: fixed function hardware offering acceleration, image quality and performance. OpenGL ES 2.X: enables full programmable 3D graphics.