APIs have become indispensable in our existence today. There are not many things you can do in this IOT-powered digital world without this particular process. Many people see APIs as new technologies in the modern world only reserved for nerds. But if you have used an online store or shared messages on social media, you’re already in the loop. Here is a guide to APIs, how they work, and their benefits for all users.
API Integration Defined
API is an acronym for application program interface. It serves as a software intermediary between various applications enabling them to communicate in real-time. API integration is the process of connecting software or mobile applications through platforms that allow them to exchange data sources.
In the history of APIs, the first application integration use case went live somewhere in the early 2000s. Web-based APIs were first introduced when Salesforce launched its sales automation tool. Other known API integration examples and early adopters include E-bay and Amazon in the retail industry. But what is API integration today? Has anything changed?
The API integration has evolved a great deal, almost at the same speed as the world’s digital transformation rate. There are now new functionalities, but the purpose remains the same. The API integration process aims at the seamless sharing of data across different systems and enterprise systems.
As the Internet of Things gains ground in the business ecosystem, the use cases now stretch beyond e-commerce. The global cloud API market has crossed $400 million in value with a CAGR of over 19%. There are many types of APIs fuelling this growth. Many of them are being used by current applications worldwide. Some of them include:
- Open APIs
- Internal APIs
- Partner APIs
- Rest API
- Soap API
- XML RPC
How it Works
APIs write the rules that define how successful applications relate to the cloud. Different use different templates to create and publish APIs based on their goals and business needs. Generally, the development process begins with an in-depth analysis of your business’s pain points. IT professionals can determine how integrating internal and external platforms can contribute to eliminating these pain points. The results of this process are subjected to software platform interactions and API testing before publishing.
Scalability: One of the main attributes of APIs is scalability. This scalability works through the leverages businesses build to avoid the need to begin executed processes from scratch. About three thousand new applications are created every day. And in a connected system enabled by APIs, most of them can have the same access to relevant data sets. APIs make it easier to leverage these data-sharing opportunities without having to create a single line of code. Imagine all these apps having to begin from scratch. APIs are a great way to optimize processes and scale results.
Automation: Business automation and data management have become a necessity in today’s highly competitive marketplace. For businesses worldwide, automation signifies high levels of efficiency. It helps tasks, especially repetitive ones, to be performed in a timely manner. The automation benefits of using APIs are endless. But the most significant impact APIs have had on automation is the ability to use machine learning technologies and predictive models more efficiently. API integration enables the handoff of information across various applications. This information sharing ability is the basis to reduce human interruption.
Improved Collaboration: API integration has become the new language of business integration. API users can tap into the knowledge base and feedback shared by other users. With integration platforms, both API producers can find, build, and learn new trends, which can go a long way to improve workflows and outcomes.