Hubspot - the crossroad between private and public apps

October 28th, 2022

One of the most popular CRM platforms is HubSpot. It allows the editors to manage their contacts, including tracking and marketing automation. Many clients choose HubSpot as their basic tool and have integrations directly with their platforms. 

If you are using the CRM platform you are well aware that a big change is coming at the end of November. Starting on November 30, 2022, HubSpot API keys will no longer be able to be used as an authentication method to access HubSpot APIs. 

All clients that use the services and have integration will have to move to another way of authentication. The new options provided by the platform are Private apps and Public apps. 

If you are at a crossroads you need to check what are your options before moving forward.

Private apps

  • Available only for a single account 
  • Immutable access tokens (no need for a public endpoint)
  • Could refer to them as a replacement for API keys authentication


Public apps

  • Available in the Market (could be used by other businesses as well)
  • OAuth implementation and publicly available endpoints for receiving the access and refresh tokens
  • Short-lived access tokens 
  • Provides access to wider Hubspot platform features
  • On authentication, a public URL receives - an access token and a refresh token

Each business needs to define what kind of usage is expected from integration with HubSpot.

Do you have backend-to-backend integrations which are not exposed to the wide world and end clients?

If this is your case then you should consider a Private app as an authentication method, unless you are not willing to expose an endpoint for the public.

If you are pushing data to Hubspot only from your backend service and you don’t have any exposed endpoints for public access you should consider using Private apps. 

Do you operate with more than one account/portal in Hubspot

If you operate with more than one account/portal you should consider a Public app as the authentication method. Having all the functionality handled by a single place will make your life easier when it comes to maintaining integration. 

What kind of scopes (areas) you are planning to automate/alter/change - CMS, CRM, Settings, Standard?

If you are planning to use standard scopes over one account then Private apps is your solution, however, if you are willing to use some of the custom features you will have to create a Public app.

Do you operate on a multi-country business platform and push data to the same Hubspot account?

If this is your case you should check if there are any legal restrictions based on the countries in which you operate and if you are allowed to have a single point/app which operates the data.

Additional factors

As every business is unique the rules above outline a general understanding but if your case is specific please consider whether this is your first time integrating with Hubspot or if you already have active integrations. 
If you happen to be at a crossroads you could contact us and use us as a turning point in deciding.

Lyubomir Filipov is a Group Architect and Deputy Program Manager in our Gabrovo & Veliko Tarnovo offices, Bulgaria.


Lyubomir Filipov

Lyubomir Filipov

Group Architect and Deputy Program Manager