API stands for Application Programing Interface and is a term used to describe specifications that allow applications to communicate with one another.
APIs enable exchange of information, and can be a major source of value (utility, market dependence and revenue) to organizations. APIs are significant components in the evolution of applications because the technical ecosystem is built on top of APIs and leverages them to function and provide many services in use today.
APIs can be divided into three groups:
Public APIs, also known as a Open APIs, are available to users with minimal restrictions. An example of this API is Google Maps, which allows users to take advantage of Google’s expansive and detailed map software in a number of ways. Developers can leverage this software and integrate with it in their applications by following the Google Maps API documentation.
Private APIs, also known as Internal APIs, are used primarily within a company to share resources and facilitate the business. (e.g. Company Warehouse API for managing inventory with code).
Partner APIs require rights or specific licenses for use. These APIs are popular in software-as-a-service platforms (e.g. AWS API).