When building and integrating two pieces of software, an API is a term that’s used to describe it. It’s short for application programming interface and will allow one software system to communicate with another. Using APIs in conjunction with custom software development, can reduce the costs and speed up development. In this article, we will discuss APIs and how they could benefit your business.
What can an API be used for?
An API allows software products to communicate with each other without knowing their underlying implementation. This can simplify the app development process and can be used when designing new products or managing current apps. It can also offer new solutions for issues you may be facing with your current apps. They can be considered a contract between two parties, where one product sends a request and a second party responds in a certain way. APIs allow our team of app developers to integrate new components into existing architecture you might have in place.
With the ever-changing market that businesses find themselves in, we often need to shift our way of working to keep up with the competition. By using APIs, you can connect new systems to old ones and quickly develop innovative solutions. APIs can work to connect your infrastructure with cloud-native app development. They can also allow you to share data and information with users and customers and external software applications.
What are the different types of APIs?
API management is critical to ensure that your data and software are safe and won’t fall into the wrong hands. Therefore which one of the different approaches that can be taken to use APIs, will depend on the project.
These are the most common API options that are used by companies:
- Private – This would be only for internal company use and gives your business full control over your APIs.
- Public – Everyone can access a public API. Even third parties are able to develop apps that will be able to interact with these APIs.
- Partner – This type of API is only shared with certain business partners. It’s a good option for keeping quality high while still offering opportunities to increase revenue.
What are the benefits of APIs for your business?
As a business owner, there are many reasons why you might want to learn more about integrating APIs into your apps and operations. These are just a few of the key advantages which showcase why any business can benefit from APIs.
We’re all looking for ways to speed up creating new products, and APIs help to improve productivity both for companies such as ours that create apps and businesses like the one you own and operate. Instead of having to develop apps from scratch each time, APIs help to speed up the production process. We can quickly implement functions that already exist, saving time and money in the process. When you are looking to stay one step ahead of your competition, it’s a great way to ensure that your development processes are as quick as possible in the future.
There’s no denying that some application building processes can be incredibly costly. While this will always depend on the complexity of the project, using APIs can help to save time and money during development. Our team will always pass these savings on to your company, and you’ll find that it means you can usually add extra features to your app that you might not already have budgeted for during the initial planning stage.
Focus on collaboration
One of the things we love about APIs is that they can improve collaboration and internal communication for your team. As many companies today rely on hundreds of different applications to complete their work, this can lead to challenges. Using an API can overcome these challenges allowing various applications to communicate with a central hub.
A collaboration example
For instance, firstly your custom software system may retrieve information from a vehicle tracking system, for example, Fleetmatics. Secondly, the custom software system could calculate the hours worked for each driver, based on the information retrieved from Fleetmatics. Finally, the custom software system would communicate these hours to your accounting payroll application, such as Sage, Xero, etc.
Check out our case study that uses an API to communicate with Fleetmatics.
APIs encourage innovation
The world is constantly changing, but APIs help businesses continue to innovate. If you are looking to stay ahead of your competition, you’ll need to satisfy your customers. APIs can be the way to meet the growing demands of consumers without having to spend a fortune.
If you think that APIs could benefit your business, we highly encourage you to get in touch with our team today. We’ll be happy to discuss how we can collaborate with you to introduce APIs to your business and offer you all of the benefits listed above.