A Partner API allows you as a partner to perform all the GET operations that you do in your partner store. Partner APIs are built using REST principles. This ensures predictable URLs that make it easy to write and retrieve data related to your partner store. This API follows HTTP rules.
A Partner API is the ordering system for a restaurant to order food from its distributor.
A restaurant doesn’t magically have all the food it needs. They tend to order their food from larger distributors that have the bulk quantities they need to function.
The everyday individual doesn’t have access to order food from these bulk distributors, they have to go to the restaurant in order to purchase their food. The distributor is only going to allow the restaurant to order food from them.
A Partner API is exposed by, or to, the strategic business partner.
It's one thing to know what a term means, but that is worthless if you don't know why you should know what a partner API is in the first place. Let's break down the importance of this tech term based on two high level categories. We'll walk through an explanation as well as provide a score, 1-10, that shows you how much you should care about partner APIs.
The first will be if you do not have a product yet. This means that you don't have a physical product. Maybe you're in the ideation phase, or maybe you're almost ready to start development. Whichever it is, we'll get into why a partner API is important and why you should or shouldn't care about it if you do not have a product.
As a founder, a Partner 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.
The second category is if you do have a live product. Maybe you just launched your business or maybe it's been live for years and you're continuing to improve its quality. Regardless of the scenario, if your product is live, a partner API carries a different weight.
As a founder, a partner API is fairly relevant if your business model requires you to interact, via software, with exclusive partners. For example, if you are ESPN, then knowing that your application has a Partner API with the MLB is very important because it is pivotal to your business model to allow your partners, but only your partners, to pull in specific information.
So you know what a partner API is, by definition. You know if you should care about it or not depending on your situation as a business/company/product. To dig in deeper, we will walk through some examples so we can make sure you really have a solid grasp on partner APIs.
A partner API is controlled by the publishing partner, determining what information is publicly exposed and available for free use. Often times, you have to pay companies for access to their partner APIs.