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I see the term "open API" used a lot out there in the API space. I feel there are truly very few actual open APIs, but the term has been co-opted by the media, many API owners as well as API service providers.

The only two open APIs I can think of, off the top of my head are:

I’m sure there are more, but will have to do some more research to identify them.

So what makes an open API?

  • Publicly Accessible
  • Open / Self-Service Access
  • Read and Write Capabilities
  • Data Openly Licensed
  • Interface Openly Licensed

Those seem like a few of the obvious ones, what else am I missing? Many companies are actively using the term "open API", when they should be using the term "public API".

I think many companies could easily make the choice to truly be open, but choose to just use it as a marketing term, rather than in a literal sense.

Let's call APIs what they are really are, "public APIs".




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