What is an API and API Integration?
Before understanding what API Integration is, it is essential to have a basic understanding of API. Abbreviation for application programming interface, API is the set of protocols and tools by which an application can communicate with different apps. API consists of data transfers, or messages, sent to (called requests) and received from (called responses) an application.
Therefore, it is the process by which two or more applications, software, or modules communicated or integrate with the help of their APIs. These integrations can be between different modules of the same application/software or between two entirely different applications or software.
Why use API Integration?
API is among the radical innovations in the market of software/web development. It has made a significant impact on the way we utilize and connect various applications, allowing them to communicate with each other.
The primary objective of API integration is to be able to communicate between different applications or modules as well as seamlessly transfer of required information among various modules of the same app (wherever required).
API integration provides an opportunity for the applications to send and receive data (i.e., send requests and get responses) to and from other apps. This way, an app or software can move beyond isolation and towards the capability of providing required information to other applications and in the same way, gather the necessary information.
Benefits of API Integration
Although benefits of API integration vary from user to user or application to application, however, some of the vital common benefits of are mentioned below:
The most crucial benefit of an API integrated app is the ability to connect and communicate with other applications. It can either be in the form of sending data requests or making it available for other applications that rely on us for their processing and decision making.
API based processes or services can be easily automated to not only reduce manual intervention but also to increase accuracy and efficiency. Human intervention in tasks is replaced with API calls and responses. API based process automation is the future of application integration.
3. Timely & accurate reporting
With API based automation, applications can run timely processing, and since there is no human intervention, the data reporting is highly reliable and precise.
Industries that benefit from API Integration
Although benefits of API integration are not limited to any specific business; however, the following sectors are extensively using APIs and driving tremendous leverage from it.
1. Media & Publishing
The media & publishing industry significantly relies on API integration to gather data from content creators and publish it across various platforms for greater audience reach.
2. E-commerce and Retail
E-commerce has expanded exponentially using API integrations. It has improved significantly improved e-commerce in areas of drop shipping and stock management. By employing just in time stock management approach and connecting stores with third-party sellers to enhance sales has transformed e-commerce in recent years.
3. Banking & Finance
This sector is probably the largest user of API integrations. Some of the key uses are digital payment solutions for its customers and necessary compliance data sharing with various regulators.
4. Government Entities and Regulators
Government Entities and Regulators have increasingly started integrating their systems using APIs. They are enhancing e-governance experience and providing the ability to assimilate regulators’ data and access to information from other government entities or regulators.
5. Hotel and Aviation
Hotel and the aviation industry has also been using API integration to connect using various platforms. Common examples include booking.com, Google flights, etc. They use APIs to connect to multiple hotels, airlines, and other service providers to provide necessary information to users in one place.
Other important terms to know
Although by now, you should be able to understand all the basics of API integration and areas of use. However, below are some of the terms which are related to API integration which you should know:
1. API integration companies
These are the service providers who not only analyze, access, and evaluate the possibility of API integration but also deploy resources to complete integration between various applications for their clients. Although there are multiple service providers, however, Help Square is unique in the sense, that we are a complete solutions provider.
2. API integration platforms
These platforms are created by multiple service providers to manage the growing need for secure and reliable integration solutions. These platforms can easily connect with the most popular APIs and can easily automate functions where more than one APIs are involved.
3. API documentation
The API documentation is the detailed instruction manual that outlines the services an API can perform along with examples of how to code correctly. It’s just like a user manual or an instruction book that comes with any product which explains how this can be used.
4. Public vs. Private APIs
Public and Private APIs differentiate in a way that public APIs, as the name suggests, are publicly available, allowing external developers to use them in their assets. Examples include Twitter API, Facebook API, Google Maps API. Private APIs, on the other hand, is not publicly available for developers but is restricted within an organization or for particular users outside of an organization which it deems appropriate.
APIs are highly significant in today’s landscape of information technology and are vital tools for businesses in all industries. A lot of apps are build based on integration with various APIs to provide a unique experience to customers which each application individually cannot provide. If you are also looking for API integration services, then you can contact us, and we will be able to help you out surely.