API stands for Application Programming Interface, which is a standardized way a system can provide programmatic access of its capabilities to other systems. Jamf APIs are REST-like APIs. Resources in a REST API refer to an object or objects that are exposed at an HTTP endpoint. Those endpoints are a reference to a URL that accepts web requests formatted in a certain way. For example, https://myserver.jamfcloud.com/JSSResource/computers is an endpoint that allows the user to see a list of macOS computers in their Jamf Pro environment.
Jamf is becoming an API-first company. This means that when developing its software, Jamf will be adding to its API to expose the new functionality. Primarily, this enables faster and more efficient webpages inside of Jamf Pro. The APIs that Jamf uses to build Jamf Pro are the same ones that are available to its customers and developer partners. This means functionality is added and made available simultaneously. Allowing all customers and partners with the ability to leverage the information and capabilities of Jamf Pro to enhance their custom workflows or bring new innovations to their integrations.
With this initiative, Jamf is renaming two existing APIs. The Classic API (formerly known as the Customer API) and the Jamf Pro API (formerly known as the Universal API). The Classic API is currently more utilized by Jamf customers.
Jamf has no immediate plans to deprecate the Classic API. The goal is to build out the Jamf Pro API to provide parity with the Classic API. This will take some time and Jamf will continue to fully support the Classic API during this time period. Once we have reached an acceptable level of parity between both APIs, a sunset period will be communicated to ensure customers and partners can effectively transition to the new Jamf Pro API.
This rebrand represents a large effort in both how Jamf develops software and how they want customers and partners to interact with Jamf Pro. As stated above, this won’t be an overnight change. Many Jamf Pro features aren’t yet available in the Jamf Pro API. Jamf is working hard to introduce new endpoints with every release. These will be documented in the release notes available on Jamf Nation and change log which is available on the Developer Portal.
The Jamf Pro API is in beta, which means there may be breaking changes each release. This makes checking the release notes and change log that much more important to maintain custom workflows and integrations. This is being done because the internal standards and style guide are still being worked on. Once those have been finalized and desired feature parity achieved, the Jamf Pro API will introduce versioning — providing dependability and consistency for each version. It is worthwhile to note that the Jamf Pro API goes through the same quality assurance and testing processes as non-beta software and is used when rendering pages in Jamf Pro’s web interface.
When directly compared to the Classic API, the Jamf Pro API is a step forward in many ways. These steps include better security, faster performance, support for paging, sorting and a much more consistent way of interacting with each endpoint.