APIs are your key to digitisation. In the blog “What exactly is an API”, we introduce the topic and explain the general functionality of APIs. Did you know that there are different APIs? Find out in this blog what types of APIs exist, how they differ and where API Lifecycle Management comes in.
The different types of APIs
If you look at how APIs are used, you will see three types of APIs, which differ in whether and to what extent the APIs are made available to the public or were created exclusively for internal company purposes:
Internal/Private APIs Internal or private APIs are created exclusively for internal company purposes. They are not listed in public API directories and are not known to the outside world, nor are they accessible to anyone or any systems outside the company. They are managed in-house in an API developer portal, which protects the access and use of the APIs through authentication and authorization mechanisms.
Partner APIs Partner APIs are used in collaboration with your strategic business partners. Partner APIs are not available to the public, but like internal APIs they are only accessible to a predefined group of users via authentication and authorization mechanisms. However, in contrast to internal APIs, partner APIs work outside company boundaries, so they require additional security measures.
Public APIs These APIs are available outside the company, while maintaining high security measures. They are listed in public API directories, where they are available to API developers for integration into their systems for further development. This is where APIs can pay off: through API management, you can see how often the API is used and if and when a pay-for-use model could be implemented.
Whether you use APIs internally, offer them to business partners or make them available to the general public, consistent API full lifecycle management with an API management solution enables you to keep track of the status and usage of your APIs at all times. Having central administration, maintenance, version management, and tracking of API consumption will increase their adoption rate, regulate usage, as well as secure and protect your IT infrastructure.
Thomas Kamper, SVP Strategic Product Management, is responsible for strategic product initiatives related to all SEEBURGER’s business integration technology and solutions. The focus is currently on API solutions and Big Data. In addition, he is responsible for solutions that enable organizations to master challenges of visibility and to control the proper execution of digitalized business processes. Thomas rejoined SEEBURGER December 2017. Before, he worked for many years as a hands-on interim manager and business advisor supporting C-level executives within software and cloud service providers to make their strategic product initiatives successful.