Design layer

What Are the 4 Types of API

What Are the 4 Types of API

APIs are a key component in the software development ecosystem of today. Every major service or application uses some form of API for exposing its functions and capabilities to external clients or users. Some of today's most popular applications use APIs – Slack, Spotify, Gmail, Google Maps, Trello, Facebook, and many more. 

These services may be accessed through an application programming interface (API) that directly communicates with the service and enables it to leverage it within its product.

But every business has its own needs and wants, so there are different APIs to meet different needs.

What Are the Types of API?

For convenience, let's divide the API by access level and scope. There are four known types: public APIs, partner APIs, internal APIs, and composite APIs.

Public or open APIs.

Such APIs are specially developed by companies for their application. After that, access is given to users all over the world. For example, this is what Google does with the Google Maps API.

Why is this API used? This is an additional source of income. That is, companies to use your API have to pay you, although there are also cases of providing it for free. Then the main goal becomes popularization.

For example, the well-known Waze application takes information from an open API (an accident or construction on the road), generates it in a convenient format, and gives it to the user. So if you have something that can be useful to others, think about sharing it and get an income.

Partner APIs.

The principle of operation of these APIs is very similar to the previous one. But while open APIs provide access to anyone, they are only allowed for certain partner clients. In general, this provides greater security because, firstly, it controls who gets access, and secondly, it controls how and with what resources.

This type works best for you if you need to connect business to business. The giant company Amazon has a good income from this outside of the main website. This gives access to the site itself to other businesses checking inventory or looking for delivery options.

Internal APIs.

They are the exact opposite of public APIs. Their main focus is to ensure the needs of the company. Therefore, they are more effective and safer. Now you might be thinking if I can't monetize it, what is the purpose of this API?  For example, your business grows and develops, accordingly, you need scaling. You introduce a new internal system and simply give it access to all the others via APIs. This saves your money and resources, so we recommend taking note.

Composite APIs. Stacked APIs.

In general, this is the use of several APIs at the same time. The advantage is reducing the load on the server because you no longer need several APIs, but only one, which is why the speed of its application increases.

It is best to explain this with the example of online shopping. You go to the site, see the product, and want to buy it. You could use several APIs: to create a profile, add to the cart, change the status of the order, etc. But it is much more profitable to use a composite API and reach the level of businesses like Stoplight, which already use it.

How do you create an API?

With the above four options, you should be able to create the API that best meets your needs. Whether it be an open API or a closed one, a partner API or an internal API is really up to you. Do you have a reliable team of developers? Or would you like to share (or sell) your work with everyone? Vindevs offer you a full team of specialists to achieve your business goals. With our help, you'll be able to put your idea into action and build a successful API.

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