Various types of APIs and use cases (2023)

using aApplication Programming Interface (API)Developers have the option of allowing systems or software platforms to interact with each other. This can encourage new features and capabilities. However, to encourage these connections, there are several protocol options to choose from, each with its own advantages, disadvantages and quirks. In this article, we take a detailed look at the most common API types and protocols.

What are the different types of Web APIs?

There are different types of APIs that serve different purposes and are designed for different use cases. Here are some of the most common types of web APIs:

Of course, the APIs

Public APIs (orOf course, the APIs) work through a set of tools, routines and protocols to develop software applications. They allow access to application data while protecting developers from accessing shared source code. This means that companies can benefit from making their services available while retaining ownership of the developer effort.

Developers will find it useful for building new applications based on organizational aspects such as roles or service data, which are essentially RESTful APIs that provide authentication and authorization, providing powerful integrations between programs that new developers are taking advantage of to secure resources.

The use of public APIs has seen an increase in demand, which has driven the development of countless innovative applications and services.

Partner APIs

Partner APIs are specialized interfaces that allow companies to access business-to-business (B2B) service offerings and data. This streamlined approach allows organizations to build unique capabilities into their own applications or services while leveraging a partner's capabilities.

By being able to use existing technologies, companies can effectively reduce costs and allocate time more efficiently. By integrating valuable data and services such as customer feedback or add-on products, companies can improve the customer experience and drive revenue growth using partner APIs tailored to different business models.

internal API

As the name suggests, an internal API is a type of API intended for internal use by the organization's own developers. These APIs facilitate the transfer of data between different components of a system, allowing the automation of processes.

Because it is an exclusive operation and service for large organizations, internal APIs are often proprietary systems. They allow different applications and systems within an organization to communicate with each other and develop a level of abstraction that makes them independent entities in terms of modification or maintenance. Integrating innovative technologies and services into existing systems is a streamlined process using built-in APIs.

Composite APIs

A composite API brings together multiple APIs in a single interface, giving developers a unified view of data from different sources. This integration simplifies data access and use, making it easier to interact with complex applications that often arise when connecting different cloud services.

Composite APIs offer developers efficient coding practices because they don't have to write separate code for each individual API. The Composite API can streamline the development process and provide cost-effective solutions by providing a unified interface for accessing multiple APIs.

What are the different types of API protocols?

When it comes to integrating programming interfaces between two parties using an API, strict policies, called API protocols, apply to govern interactions.

These rules increase the efficiency of data exchange in different applications through standardized communication modes. The requirements described in the API protocols include specifying the format for the request/response exchange or the types of data that can be shared, authentication mechanisms or security measures for the secure transfer of information. Adhering to these standards ensures consistent interactions while delivering reliable performance.


In the current scenario, most APIs are REST based. Web applications are widely usedAPI REST. They are versatile interfaces for sending and retrieving data via HTTP requests in JSON, XML and plain text, among other formats.

Representational State Transfer (REST) ​​APIs are an example of these interfaces because they use the principles underlying REST architectural design to communicate between clients and servers. This design includes predefined sets of various operational parameters, available through standard HTTP methods such as GET, POST, PUT or DELETE, while allowing for scalability.

APIs facilitate access to structured data in JSON or XML format, ensuring security and access to resources. Adhering to REST principles helps developers build reliable, easy-to-use API systems that can be used across all devices and platforms.


Web services can also becreated using SOAP APIs, which are based on XML messages to allow communication between two applications on a network.

SOAP has strict rules and strict messaging standards that can make it more secure than protocols like REST. These types of APIs are commonly used in business applications, especially for payment processing and customer management, as they are extremely secure in nature.

Thanks to SOAP APIs, it is possible to create web services that can be accessed by different clients without being limited to a specific platform. Its secure nature is another key advantage that has led to SOAP being widely used for transmitting highly confidential information.


If you're looking for a quick API solution, consider GraphQL. This state-of-the-art approach eliminates the need for excessive client queries by taking advantage of its specialized query definition capabilities, providing much-needed flexibility in data aggregation.

Unlike traditional REST APIs, developers can leverage an interface that easily allows on-demand "data queries". essentially withGraphQL-APIusers request what they want from the backend service, all from an API endpoint. This helps them avoid redundant API calls. By enabling accurate data retrieval, GraphQL APIs have the potential to minimize data requests and therefore make applications more efficient. Additionally, developers can quickly integrate new fields or types into their applications, creating a fast and streamlined development process.


The functionality of webhook APIs mainly revolves around facilitating real-time data transfer and seamless integration between different web applications. An example of its use would be sending push notifications to notify users of incoming emails. When certain preconfigured events occur, these APIs automatically trigger messages, or "hooks," that initiate communication between different software programs.

Webhook APIs allow apps to stay in sync and respond to events instantly. These APIs are commonly used for event-driven programming, where software can exchange data in real time. They can serve different purposes, e.g. For example, notifying a user after clicking a link or updating an online store with new items without manual intervention.


With APIs, applications can continuously perform remote functions over long distances, even if they are hosted on different machines. There is a growing reliance on distributed systems and microservices architectures, where this kind of flexibility is essential.RPC-API (remote procedure call)whose implementation usually follows protocols such as JSON-RPC or XML-RPC.

The focus is on the effective RPC protocol, which aims to enable efficient data transfers between multiple interconnected computing nodes through networks with different topologies. This interaction takes place via the standard but elegant client-server paradigm, with servers responding to incoming requests from clients. Messages that contain requests to a server to perform a specific task and return a response, called remote procedure calls, facilitate the communication process between the client and the server. RPC APIs are commonly used to manage resources such as databases on remote computers or to access web services.

There are other types of APIs as well, but these are among the most common and widely used. The choice of API type depends on the specific needs of the application and the data being accessed.

What are API request methods?

APIs leverage various request methods that define how a client application can interact with online systems. These particular approaches often involve collecting and manipulating information stored on these systems.

More specifically, there are five popular types of API request methods: GET, POST, PUT, PATCH, and DELETE.

Consequently, finding information through GET requests is simplified, while creating new information can only be done through POST logic. Updating old information should be done using PUT protocol, while PATCH can change it if necessary, and DELETE removes all superfluous files. Powerful and dynamic applications can be created through the effective use of a combination of methods, each distinguished by its unique purposes and applications.

Here's an overview of the different types of API methods:

  • GET method: Retrieve information or data from a specific resource
  • POST method: send data to a specific resource for processing
  • PUT method: updates a specified resource with new data
  • DELETE method: Deletes a specified resource
  • PATCH method: Partially update a specified resource
  • OPTIONS-Method: Retrieve supported HTTP methods from a server endpoint
  • HEAD method: Retrieve only the headers of a response without the response body
  • CONNECT method: establishes a network connection with a resource that is normally used for SSL/TLS tunneling
  • The TRACE method: Returns the received request to the client for debugging purposes

Typically used to interact with web services or applications, API methods allow developers to access and manipulate data or functions from a remote source.


It's important for developers who want to build modern web applications to understand the different types of web APIs, API protocols, and API request methods.

REST APIs are the most common protocol type, while GraphQL is a newer protocol type that allows for more efficient and specific data retrieval. SOAP, RPC and Webhook API protocols also have their place.

For API request methods, the methods used vary depending on the type of data sent and the desired action. Each method has its own advantages and uses, and developers should carefully consider their options.

Ultimately, the choice of web API type, protocol, and request method depends on your needs and goals. By understanding the differences between these options, developers can choose the approaches that work best for their projects and ultimately build more robust and effective applications.

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