Whether you are working in marketing, finance, or operations, you must have heard a lot about API Integrations in the last couple of years, and how important they are for different organizations. To ensure a smooth flow of information throughout different departments, businesses need better integration with different platforms. With over 23,000 APIs in existence, they are rapidly becoming an essential part of most IT infrastructures for modern enterprises. Since 2015, an average of 2,000 APIs are added each year to the directory, and the growth rate has increased exponentially in the past few years.
APIs have become a part of everything we do online, from booking flight tickets to using social media to sending messages. Search engines, such as Google, use APIs to display relevant information based on data collected from past user search queries. APIs help two applications understand and communicate with each other by acting as a mediator between them.
A simple and easy way to understand the concept of APIs is with an example. Let’s say you order something online; when you place the order, you communicate with the vendor through a website or app to purchase your desired items. This communication process takes place through an API. The order is sent in the form of a request to the website/app, and as a result you see a message (response) ‘order placed’, which verifies the order placement.
One of the most popular types of APIs for web services are REST-based as they are more flexible and easier to understand with a gentle learning curve. You can learn more about REST APIs here:
REST API Definition: What is a REST API (RESTful API)?
What Is API Integration?
When it comes to creating and implementing APIs, organizations have various options available. These include Linx which is an API development tool and Swagger Editor which allows you to design and document APIs. However, these tools are often limited to specific functions.
The API integration platform is another effective and efficient option for implementing APIs. It allows automated interactions and information exchange between APIs and other systems. The platform pulls data from different applications and data sources, cleanses and transforms it, and stores in the final destination, like a data warehouse.
For example, an organization that uses applications, such as HubSpot or Salesforce to manage their sales or marketing-related operations can use API Integration platform to consolidate and combine the data coming from these sources with their enterprise database.
Another great example is ticket management. Users can retrieve support data from their customer service platforms Zendesk or Jira and effortlessly manage tickets, help desk, ratings, adding users, and more. Users can merge the data further with other sources to get a 360-degree view.
Using APIs — Real World Examples
To get a better understanding of API, we can look at some examples of how it is being used in various processes:
- One of the most common examples of using API is for digital money transfers or online payment systems. Banking applications use APIs to securely transfer money from one account to another.
- Travel booking agencies also use APIs to collect and manage information pertaining to hotels and available flights from various vendors. The agencies use this information to showcase the most cost-effective options to their website users.
- Retail giants use APIs to exchange information and communicate with courier networks. This helps them make sure the packages are picked up and delivered as soon as possible. They can also track them while the packages are on the move.
- Banks and other financial institutions use private APIs to manage and track credit cards, checking accounts, and more.
- Streaming giants like Netflix and Spotify also use APIs to distribute content.
Reasons You Need an API Integration Platform for Your Organization
Modern-day businesses need an effective API Integration platform for several reasons. Here are some of the most important ones that benefit the business immensely:
Improve Team Productivity and Efficiency
To create and consume APIs, businesses need to hire developers to design APIs through code and create apps that consume APIs. Using an API Integration platform eliminates developers from this equation, empowering business users to integrate APIs in a visual interface.
With an effective API Integration system in place, the team can focus its efforts on more strategic projects and improve the productivity and efficiency of various departments. Amazon’s CEO Jeff Bezos has also credited API Integration as the key to empowering his technical employees. Effective API integration increases operational efficiency and enables employees to discover, connect, and reuse IT assets.
Businesses use applications to ensure their operations run effectively and in a timely manner. Some common examples of these applications include payroll software to process payroll quickly and efficiently, video conferencing applications to communicate effectively with everyone within the organization, etc. API Integration platform allows for automation of data exchange between these different applications. This way users can update applications rapidly whenever new information is received or modified.
The automation feature ensures the business remains on track and the information on critical activities is always available. This keeps the organization abreast of any emerging trends regarding their customers, shipments, or any other key processes. Automation also helps enhance productivity and efficiency of the business.
Learn more about API Integration and automation here: A Guide to Automating API Integration
Leverage Legacy Data Sources
Many organizations are unable to access information from legacy systems. An API Integration platform can help them leverage their legacy data sources and easily retrieve data by allowing businesses to create in-house APIs. API platform users can then easily fetch and use data from these sources.
Businesses can also make use of processes and workflows that worked for them in the past by accessing them easily and updating them as needed.
Near Real-Time Data Access
Another key reason why an API Integration platform is essential for a business is because it ensures near real-time data access. The platform achieves this by enabling connectivity between cloud web applications and enterprise systems. With faster access to more information, an organization can do more.
For example, any time you call for a Lyft or an Uber, these apps need to access your real-time GPS location. Integration of Google Maps with these apps through APIs enables the apps to get the user’s location in real-time.
Code-Free Connectivity to Cloud Apps
Cloud technology has become an indispensable part of every enterprise, and there are thousands of cloud-based apps present today. According to the latest numbers, an average enterprise uses approximately 1,295 cloud services, the majority of them being for marketing. An API Integration platform enables businesses to connect with modern cloud applications easily and access their data.
Keep Up with The Technological Advancements
Global technology has been progressing at an unprecedented rate over the last couple of decades. For an organization to succeed in the rapidly advancing digital business landscape, it must keep up with the latest technological advancements. It should also strive to find innovative ways to integrate new technologies into their business processes.
An API Integration platform provides organizations with the capability to effectively integrate .
Since the COVID-19 pandemic, many businesses had to leverage the power of . According to research, several businesses such as retail stores and even healthcare organizations have shifted from physical locations to e-commerce platforms and online healthcare portals. Businesses with an efficient API integration platform were better positioned to adapt to this change and stay ahead of their competitors.
One-Stop Solution for API-Related Tasks
An API Integration platform also serves as a one-stop solution for an organization, ranging from data retrieval and data update to data deletion. The API platform instantly accesses information transmitted between different systems to ensure better competency. The automatic and rapid flow of information and availability leads to faster and more accurate decision-making. It also helps simplify the administrative process.
Experience Code-Free, Easy API Integration with Astera API Management
Astera API Management is a complete API lifecycle management solution with an intuitive REST API Browser that gives you a complete view of the API. It also allows easy connectivity between external applications and your enterprise technology stack for seamless data flow. The API Integration platform provides easy access to third-party applications without writing a single line of code.
To learn more about API Integration and Astera API Management feel free to get in touch with us.