Configure Public API mode

Expose APIs and applications publicly to users who are not logged in to your API Portal.

5 minute read

Public API mode enables you to expose non-business critical APIs and their methods so that your API consumers can access them without creating a user account or logging in.

When Public API mode is enabled, users can browse any APIs and applications you have specifically exposed for public access in API Manager, without logging in to API Portal. Users can still sign in or sign up to API Portal to use all the features.

To expose APIs publicly, configure the APIs and applications to be exposed publicly in API Manager, and enable Public API mode in Joomla! Administrator Interface (JAI).

Differences in user experience

The user experience in public API mode is different than when signed in:

  • On the API Portal landing page, the Sign In button is replaced with an Explore button that goes to API Catalog.

  • The items in the main navigation menu have the following changes:

    • API Catalog displays only the APIs and methods configured to be exposed in Public API mode, but is available normally.
    • If not disabled, the Applications page is available as read-only. The Usage tab on the Applications page is always disabled.
    • The Monitoring and Users pages are unavailable.
  • The user profile information is unavailable.

Public API mode affects your APIs and applications. Joomla! articles, blogs, or forums are not included in Public API mode. You can manage how these are exposed by changing their Access settings in JAI.

Configure settings for Public API mode in API Manager

For Public API mode access, create a separate organization and user in API Manager, and give that organization access to any APIs and applications that you want to expose publicly.

  1. In API Manager, add a new organization (for example, Public API Org).

  2. Add a user account for Public API mode access.

    • Enable the user.
    • Set Organization to the Public API organization you created (Public API Org)
    • Set Role to User.
  3. Select Change password, and set the password for the Public API mode user.

  4. Write down the login name and password you configure for the Public API mode user. You will need them later when configuring the Public API mode in JAI.

  5. Disable password expiration. Go to Settings > API Manager settings > General settings, and disable Enable password expiry.

  6. Select the APIs to expose publicly. Go to Frontend API, select the APIs to expose (they must be in Published state), click Managed selected > Grant access, set Grant API access to The following organizations, and add and select your Public API mode organization.

  7. Select the applications to expose publicly. Go to Clients > Applications, ensure that the organization of the applications is set to your Public API mode organization and the application has access to the required APIs, then share the application with the Public API mode user you created. It is recommended to only provide rights to view the application.

Encrypt the Public API mode user password

If you are using the Public API mode in API Portal you must run a script to encrypt the Public API mode user password and specify a directory to store the encryption key.

sudo sh ./

The directory is created along with a file. The last segment of the directory is the file name, for example: /sample/directory/for/encryption/key creates an empty file named “key” in the desired directory.

If you have already had a Public API mode user configured, re-enter the user account password in JAI to encrypt and store the script correctly. For more details see Encrypt the Public API user password in unattended mode.

Enable Public API mode in API Portal

Public API mode is disabled by default. You must enable it in JAI, and add the login details of the Public API mode user account you created in API Manager.

  1. Log in to JAI, and go to Components > API Portal > Public API.
  2. Switch Enable Public API to Yes.
  3. In Public API Account Login, enter the login name of the Public API mode user account you created.
  4. In Public API Account Password, enter the password of the Public API mode user account you created, and click Save.

Hide applications in Public API mode

You can hide the Applications page from the main menu when Public API mode is enabled.

  1. In JAI, go to Components > API Portal > Public API.
  2. Switch Make Application Menu Entry Public to No.
  3. Click Save.

Disable testing API methods in Public API mode

To disable the Try it functionality in Public API mode, follow these steps:

  1. In JAI, click Menu(s) > Main Menu.
  2. Select APIs.
  3. On the API Catalog tab, set Show inline Try-it to Yes only to authenticated users, and click Save.

Usage guidelines

  • Do not edit or delete the Joomla! default user group.
  • Do not change the value of the Access option in the Menu > All Menu Items in JAI for APIs and Applications because this may cause API Portal malfunction.