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Rutvik Patel
Rutvik Patel

Posted on • Originally published at rutikkpatel.Medium

Understanding APIs: What They Are and How They Work

Understanding APIs: What They Are and How They Work

Application Programming Interfaces, or APIs, have become an essential component of modern software development. APIs enable different software applications to communicate with each other, allowing developers to build complex systems and services that are more efficient and effective. In this article, we will explore the basics of APIs, how they work, and the different types of APIs. Whether you’re a seasoned developer or just getting started, understanding APIs is essential for building successful software applications.

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Points to be discussed

  • What is an API?

  • How does it work?

  • Types of API

  • Public API

  • Partner API

  • Private or Internal API


What is an API?

API stands for ‘Application Programming Interface’.

An API is a set of programming codes that allows data transmission between one software product or service to another. Essentially, an API defines how software components should interact with each other.


How does it work?

APIs work by providing a set of rules and protocols that allow different software components to communicate with each other. These rules and protocols can vary depending on the type of API being used, but they typically include things like data structures, message formats, and authentication mechanisms.

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Types of API

  1. Public

  2. Partner

  3. Private or Internal


1. Public API

Available to any third-party developers.

These kinds of APIs are openly available to all developers or users with very few restrictions. They might require registration for authentication using either an API key or OAuth, or maybe be totally open without any sort of registration.


2. Partner API

Partner APIs are APIs exposed by or to strategic business partners.

They are not available publicly for everyone; instead, it takes a specific entitlement to access them.


3. Private or Internal API

Private APIs are not typically opened for external users and are used only within a company or organization internally.

Internal APIs are usually used by various internal development teams to increase productivity and services, rather than being accessed by customers outside of the firm.



In conclusion, APIs are a vital component of modern software development, enabling developers to build complex applications that can communicate with each other seamlessly. Whether you’re building a public API, a partner API, or a private API, understanding the basics of API design and development is essential for building effective software applications.

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