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APIs: A Strategy Guide by Dan Woods, Greg Brail, Daniel Jacobson

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Shifting: Private to Public, Public to Private

We have deliberately oversimplified this discussion by assuming that private and public APIs are implemented separately and are not related. While both sorts of APIs must be able to support self-service and must be reliable, there is often very little difference in practice between the way that private and public APIs are designed, created, operated, and used.

This is a good thing because we’ve also found that it is hard to predict how your API will play out. An API launched as a public offering may create the most value when used as a private API (in fact, this is frequently the case). An API launched in private may be used both in private and in public.

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