Open API

Development

What is an Open API?

Definition:

An Open API, also called a Public API, is a publicly available application programming interface that provides developers with programmatic access to a proprietary software application or web service.

Analogy:

An Open API is like the ordering buttons on a public vending machine.

Restaurants tend to only be open for certain hours during the day. If you try to go to a restaurant after they are closed, you can’t access their waiter to order your food. A public vending machine is open 24/7 and is available to anyone who walks by.

Maybe the vending machine is in the park. You first need to go to the park, and then you can access the vending machine. If there are a lot of people trying to use the vending machine at once, it may be a little slow to place your order, but at any time of the day, you are able to go and press those buttons to get a snack.

In other words...

An Open API is one that is publicly available to anyone who wants to utilize it.

Pre-Product Score

4

As a founder, an Open 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

7

As a founder, an Open API is fairly relevant if your business model requires you to interact, via software, with other 3rd parties. For example, if you are Google Calendar, then knowing that your application has an Open API is very important because it is pivotal to your business model to allow other services to pull in calendar information.

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!