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What is an API Marketplace?
You are probably familiar with a variety of different online marketplaces including Amazon or Facebook Marketplace. On these sites, you can list an item for sale or buy something listed by another user on the platform. An API marketplace works in the same way as these other online marketplaces, allowing providers to list APIs and developers to consume them. Like other types of marketplaces, a typical API marketplace has several components including a developer portal and an API provider portal.
API Marketplace: Developer Portal
The developer side of an API marketplace allows developers to find and connect to APIs. Ideally, developers can look through categories, collections, or do a search to find the API they are looking for. The categories and collections can be particularly helpful if developers are looking for specific functionality, but have not selected exactly which API to use.
The marketplace also makes it easy to compare different APIs. It should list pricing information, endpoints, and other information that could help developers make a decision about what API is best for their needs.
API Marketplace: Provider Portal
An API marketplace allows API providers to publish APIs so developers can discover them. The marketplace also allows providers to monetize their APIs, usually by creating a subscription plan (or a variety of different subscription plans).
There is another big benefit for providers who list their API on a marketplace. It makes it possible to publish an API without building payment systems, user management processes, and other complicated infrastructure. This can save money and time, especially for smaller providers who may not have the resources to do this on their own.
API Marketplace Example
The RapidAPI Marketplace is an example of an API marketplace. It features functionality for both developers and providers.