Types of API and their differences

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    Enterprises depend on APIs (Application Programming Interface) to interact with partners as well as customers. But this can work only when you know what type of APIs best suit your business requirements. 

    APIs are robust platforms connecting multiple and diverse software applications. API integration enables a wide range of unassociated software programs to communicate with other software and share data. 

    However, all APIs are not alike. Enterprises can work with a conglomeration of API types, architectures, and protocols that best suit their business needs. 

    Four types of APIs

    APIs are widely popular and most used in web applications. There are four types of API widely used in web-based apps: public, private, partner,  and composite. Essentially the API "type" means its scope of functionality and interoperability. 

    Public APIs

    As the name suggests, a public API is open and can be leveraged by any outside business or developers. Any enterprise whose business strategy involves sharing its applications and data with other enterprises for mutual benefits offer public APIs. Public APIs essentially presume moderate authorization or authentication. Many enterprises monetize their API by charging a per-call cost to make the best use of public APIs.

    Internal or Private APIs

    A private or internal API is integrated by enterprises for personal use and connecting systems within their business. For instance, an internal API may connect a company's HR system and payroll

    Since private APIs are intended for internal use only, they have weak security and authentication. However, due to increasing regulatory compliance demands, enterprises are now rethinking their API strategy. 

    Partner APIs

    By being available to only selected and authorized outside API consumers or developers, partner APIs are a measure to alleviate business-to-business processes. When a business shares its customer data with selected CRMs, a partner API connects their internal data system only with the intended partner -- any other API use is prohibited.

    Composite APIs

    Composite APIs merge two or more APIs to deploy a string of interdependent or related applications. By fetching data from several applications, composite APIs prove beneficial to address complex API behaviors and improve performance and speed over individual APIs. 

    If you are planning to integrate APIs for your business, understanding the types of APIs and their uses are essential to empower your business and maximize its benefits. 

    How can Neebal help?

    Neebal has successfully designed API integrations for several organizations using MuleSoft in order to synchronize multiple systems and integrate them with other technologies such as SAP. Start your API journey with us now. 


    Topics: API Integration