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What Is API Integration and Why Should You Care?

Today, there are over 1.5 billion websites online. Out of these, only about 200 million are active.

If you’re an organization, then you might wonder about API integration. This article will go over what it is and why it’s important. Read on to explore all about API integration platforms, and how they can help your business succeed.

What Is API Integration? 

This is when 2 or more applications use api integrations to have systems exchange data between each other. It’s vital for all organizations to have. This is what lets you open a connection to the outside world, and assist you with digital transformation initiatives.

What Are APIS? 

This is a collection of definitions, protocols, and tools that allow the communication and interaction between software components. You can communicate with a web-based application or tool.

Clients can have an interface to input a request through an app. The application then takes the data and passes it to an API.

The API then defines the information and offers a response. An API is what takes the data and turns it into something the user can understand.

Why API Integration? 

You can have an existing application with other applications and systems. It allows your company’s database to be available to other internal systems.

You won’t have to worry about being limited to one team. The API can be provided to partners and customers to make sure that relevant data is shared.

Safety

If you share your APIs with partners and customers, you’ll need to make sure that the data is secure. You need to have a testing strategy for all of your APIs before opening up data.

Common APIs

For services online, a common API is REST API. This is a successor to SOAP. SOAP is from the 1990s and uses XML for message formats.

It might also require you to have an extensive XML framework. REST APIS are more common since there’s a lower learning curve, you can work with HTTP URL, and have more flexibility.

With REST APIs you’ll find:

  • Returned function/data
  • Web-based API-enabled applications
  • Specific data requests
  • Remote Servers

API Examples

In order for management systems to have orders go through, they need to access inventory levels, products, and data from customers. There needs to be data interchange. This means that there’s an integration of the online store into the shopping cart.

When you go to an online store, you’ll find a payment gateway integration. While you don’t see it, behind the scenes there’s a data transfer for verification. The verification is of your debit/credit card.

API Integration for Beginners

API integrations work by having 2 or more applications that connect to each other using their APIs. The API layer of these applications lets them talk to each other.

A common API integration is known as Marketo – Salesforce sync. This is where API integration occurs between 2 tools and has an extra layer of automation. It updates both applications to update on one side depending on the data type.

The changes you make will show in both Marketo and Salesforce. They’re bidirectional for contacts, leads, and Salesforce campaigns.

Open APIs

Another term for open APIs is known as public APIs. This is what gives you access to a web service or application. REST APIs fall under this.

Third-Party APIs

This is where a 3rd party API integration company provides you with the APIs. Instead of it being provided by a software vendor, you receive it for a specific application.

Building API Integration Platforms

If you’re looking to build an API integration yourself, it requires an understanding of each system that you’re looking to connect. First, outline why you want integration.

Determine what problems the integration will solve. Think about how the end-user will interact with the integration.

Next, you’ll want to assemble the internal team and resources. Think about the processes and tools necessary to build this integration.

Research the relationships between data for each system. Think about how you can create relationships across the systems to make sure that there’s a clean data transfer.

Once you build it, you’ll need to test it. After this, you can monitor the performance of the integration.

The Benefits of API Integration

First, API integration allows you to scale. This means that you don’t have to start from scratch when you create new applications or systems.

Reporting

Next, APIs allow you to view the processes and systems in order to improve reporting and communication. You can monitor and track data, and have reports based on comprehensive and thorough datasets.

Reduces Errors

It also reduces errors since it lets the transfer of voluminous and complex data to occur. Human transfer can contain various mistakes, especially with complex or large datasets.

Automation

API allows the data and handoff of information from one application to the next. This used to be done manually by the employees in payroll.

Customization

You’ll have custom integration options as well. This is where you can use hand-written information from a software developer with the API knowledge you want to use. While this method was once popular, it isn’t as popular as it once was.

Connector Applications

Another option is where you have APIs that allow the integration between 2 software platforms. They can be mass-produced to allow multiple enterprises to use them.

Exploring What API Integration Is

Now that you’ve explored this guide on what API integration is, you should have a better idea if it’s right for you and your business. Streamline processes and reduce errors by choosing APIs.

Would you like to read more how-tos with tips and tricks? We can help! Check out our other articles today.

Saaim
Saaim
A computer science graduate. Interested in emerging technological wonders that are making mankind more approachable to explore the universe. I truly believe that blockchain advancements will bring long-lasting revolutions in people’s lives. Being a blogger, I occasionally share my point of views regarding the user experience of digital products.
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