API does not have a single type or format, did you know? The Application Programming Interface is already a familiar terminology among technology professionals. This question does not happen by chance, because the interface provides practicalities for those who work with programming and development.

On this subject, it is important to highlight that there are several types of API and each one has specific characteristics. In this context, it is important to know the types and purposes so that you can choose the best tool.

If you are interested in going deeper into the topic, this content was made entirely for you. We will present the main existing types and the characteristics of each one.

What is the API?

Also known as Application Programming Interface or Application Programming Interface, the API enables the communication of different system components using different sets of protocols and definitions.

This platform provides access to databases and therefore facilitates communication between different services.

What are the API types?

Basically, there are 4 types of interfaces and they can be used for different purposes. Therefore, following the post, we will present the main features so that you can get to know the characteristics of each tool and, thus, be able to make an assertive choice of API for your business.

open APIs

Also known as public or external, open APIs are available to anyone. Many of these tools are free, and there are others that charge a subscription fee.

The main positive aspect of this type of API is precisely the fact that the data is shared publicly. This feature encourages external developers and business owners to integrate with the application that relies on the API.

As the interface is public, there is no need for authorization. Furthermore, it can be easily implemented in systems. Other people can also take advantage of the information made available by the API in their daily lives.

The Waze transit app is an example of this. It uses public APIs provided by municipalities and thus updates data on accidents, roads, etc. This information improves the lives of city dwellers, as people will know the best way to get where they want to go.

Google is another example of this. To enter various sites, people can share Google account data, facilitating user login.  

If we consider the main properties of the platform, we can say that it facilitates the integration of applications and can provide different practicalities to developers, users and other people interested in the functionalities available in each open API.

Private APIs

Unlike the previously highlighted type, this interface has restricted accessibility. Due to this characteristic, private APIs are made to be used internally in companies, as they are usually accessible only through the internal network.

Thus, this type of interface can be used in the construction of new systems. In addition, it can be used to improve internal connectivity, integrate internal software, develop new mobile applications, etc.

All these positive aspects, taken together, can help the company expand its market reach and add value to the products offered. 

Composite APIs

Composite APIs combine multiple interfaces and make it possible for developers to group requests and receive a unified response from multiple servers.

It is also worth noting that this type of API is highly recommended for professionals who need data to develop applications from different sources of information.

The interface also has the advantage of resulting in less load on the servers and providing faster systems. Due to these characteristics, it is common for it to be implemented in small services in which a specific job may require many APIs to be completed.

Let's take a practical example so that we can understand the characteristics of this tool. Imagine that you need to measure a shopping cart API.

In this procedure, some requests must be made. First, it is necessary to create the customer profile. Next, it is necessary to create the order, add items and change the measured status when necessary. In this case, instead of making four calls, you can make only 1 call when using a composite API.

Partner APIs

They are shared externally, but access to the tool is limited to authorized people in the company or even authorized customers with official licenses. 

Most of the time, the use of this type of API tends to be regulated by the conditions of the company providing the tool.

Because of these reasons, security measures tend to be more stringent compared to other types of APIs. They guarantee the confidentiality of the information, as only authorized people will have access to the data present in the tool.

If we consider these characteristics, we can say that the partner API provides several benefits to the business. Among the main positive aspects are:

  • strict control over people with access to resources, optimizing information security;
  • expand the influence on how the resources will be used, providing autonomy for the company that develops the platform.

What are the main advantages of the API?

The API facilitates the simplified integration of resources between different platforms, expanding access to the system's functionalities. In addition, there are interfaces that help businesses improve information security.

Another positive aspect provided by the API is that the tool helps in the development of innovative solutions in the market, optimizing the quality of the products and services provided.

Last but not least, the tool has a wide access capacity and data volume. In this way, it becomes possible to reduce manual work and automate daily tasks, contributing to the reduction of costs in organizations.

We present the main types of API and we can see that each tool has specific characteristics. Therefore, by knowing about them, your company will be able to select the best interface for the project, contributing to organizational growth.

By having an optimized technological tool, your company will have more space to develop innovative solutions. In addition, it becomes possible to integrate the platform with different organizational segments.  

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Written by

Sky.One Team

This content was produced by SkyOne's team of cloud and digital transformation experts.