What is API integration? (for non-tech savvy people)
API integration is the connection produced when two or more apps exchange data sources via their APIs (application programming interfaces). API integration is the powerhouse for processes throughout many sectors and layers of an organization keeping data in sync, enhancing productivity, and driving revenue.
APIs are the backbone of every business, no matter how big or small. They make our apps and web systems work seamlessly with one another and allow us to interact in a digital world without hassle!
In today's world of business, achieving optimal and automated processes that share sensitive data and interact is crucial. However, an additional requirement has arisen that will make or break your company; API integration.
Why is API Integration necessary?
API connectivity is the key to a new age of automation. No longer do you have to rely on human input for communication between two web tools or applications, but instead allow them to communicate through their APIs and share data seamlessly!
Enterprises cannot afford to overlook the importance of API integration in today's world. After the explosion of cloud-based products and apps, organizations need to create a connected system where data is relayed automatically between various software tools. With API integration at their side, this becomes possible as it allows sharing process and enterprise data among applications in one given ecosystem.
Opening up a whole new world of possibilities for information and service delivery, APIs are the interface that allows two applications to integrate. It's all made possible by "APIs" which act as an intermediary between different services on multiple sites or apps.
API integration Examples
ECommerce API integration:Ecommerce sites are amongst the most common example of API integrations. Online stores have an order management system integrated into the site that processes the shipping and purchasing orders. But for this access to servers and databases is required which includes products, customers, and inventory levels.
The data transfer between the online store and shopping cart is possible through API integration, which ensures communication between both systems.
Payment API Integration:Payment gateways are a popular example of API integration. In the background, there is data transfer for verification of your credit card/debit card details. Payment gateway APIs are integrated into web stores and often hidden out of sight.
Payment API integration examples:
How API Integration is Achieved
One of the most common questions asked is how to do API integration? There are many ways through which API integration can be achieved. It all depends on your system or business needs.
API Integration PlatformsThese platforms are Saas apps to develop API integrations that connect other Saas apps and systems.
These platforms support flexibility so you can develop custom integration apps. An open-source query language like RapidQL can fetch data from multiple sources and transform it with just a single query. It allows you to make requests to multiple APIs and databases simultaneously.
These IPaaS services let you connect and stack multiple APIs so that Enterprises can automate their workflows.
Examples of API integration platform examples:
- Dell Boomi
Custom API IntegrationsCustom-built integrations are handwritten scripts, that are written by a developer with profound knowledge about API documentation. The drawback of this technique is its custom development cost and its maintenance cost. This makes it less preferred as compared to newer integration methods. It is also very time-consuming.
Third-Party API integrations:When a business uses a third party’s API to power the integration with someone else’s business app or web service. For example, you can use Google's API to power a Google Ads integration with your own website, this will be called a third-party API integration.
API Connector ApplicationsThe connector application is the perfect way to make a software platform work with another. With Connector Apps, deployment of standard API solutions is fast and affordable. It also cuts down the need for API management to a great extent and makes integrations easy to manage
API Integration Process
There are many integration tools available, after choosing the tool that will cater to your business’s need you have to follow a process:
- Evaluate your objectives, goals, and all the businesses processes
- Identify the pain points, then figure out how the integration of internal and external platforms will solve these problems.
- Get support from System Admins and Software analysts who can help you with your integration and solve any critical problem.
- After determining the goals and objectives, now you can start with development and build a custom app.
- Establish new functionalities to reach your goals by interacting with the software platform API.
- Robust testing is required to ensure that the integration app is glitch-free and bug-free.
Benefits of API integration
There are many benefits of API integration. We will be discussing the most prominent ones:
1. AutomationAPIs make possible interactions between systems, apps, data, and devices. Transfer of information and data from one app to another becomes automated with API integration, this helps eliminate human intervention, saves time, and reduces errors.
2. ScalabilityWith API integration, businesses can grow easily and quickly without having to start from scratch when developing connected apps and systems.
3. Streamlined TrackingAPI integration enables you to view all the processes involved in a system. You can track and monitor all your data in one place. You can also generate reports based on specific datasets.
4. Reduction in errorsBecause API integration allows the transfer of high volume data without the need for humans, it eliminates chances for errors.
5. Cost ReductionAs API implementation can be a direct productivity boost for the team and time-saver, programmers are able to focus on more important aspects quickly delivering value to the business. It enables systems to get automated which reduces cost eventually.
We can help you find the right API integration strategy for your company. Have you ever tried to build an app that integrates with a web service? It’s not as easy as it sounds, and there are many pieces of information about how they work together which may be confusing or overwhelming if you haven’t done this before. Our company has been integrating APIs since its inception so we know what works best in terms of time-saving tools and processes for our clients. If any part of this process is unclear, feel free to book us for a free consultancy session where we will walk through these tasks step by step and answer all your questions.