External API

Development

What is an External API?

Definition:

External APIs are APIs that developers use to integrate their applications with a third-party resource, such as a public cloud service or a SaaS application. This type of API is probably what you think of first and foremost when you think about APIs.

Analogy:

An External API is the system a restaurant would use to order from their distributor.

When a restaurant needs to order more food, they tend to order it from a large distributor. Internally, an employee from a restaurant may notice that their potato storage is below proper levels.

When they notice this, they will mark on a system that says they are in need of potatoes, and this system will communicate with their distributor to make the purchase, so that on the next food shipment, the distributor brings more potatoes.

In other words...

An External API is one that allows one organization to communicate with another organization.

Pre-Product Score

3

As a founder, an External API is not too relevant if you don’t have a product yet. You should learn about the functionality of an API, but the actual type of APIs is more relevant once you actually have a product and need to understand how your site should function most effectively.

Live-Product Score

6

As a founder, an External API is somewhat relevant if your business model requires you to interact, via software, with 3rd parties. As long as you know whether you will or will not need an External API, as well as how it is functioning, then you should be all set.

Submit a request

Do you have a term or technical question that you want us to write about? Let us know below and we'll let you know if we can add it to our queue!