What is API Integration and how does it help Your Business?

Posted on May 15, 2019 by Nikhil P Naik

The business world today requires the execution of a lot of complex functions. In order to meet those demands, sophisticated technology needs to be part of business operations. The integration of an Application Program Interface (API) allows companies to gain the upper hand over their competition by automating their tasks. These ‘APIs’ can integrate with the current operational methods and enhance the productivity of a business.

Application Program Interface essentially refers to a combination of specialized bits of computer coding, which enables two different applications, programs or databases to share operations by giving them the ability to communicate with each other.

Why APIs Are Essential

API integration is fast becoming a necessity rather than just an option for businesses. Cloud-based computing and applications are becoming essential tools for business operations in the world. Almost 20 years into the new millennium, the average employee in any large corporation is using over 30 cloud-based services actively to make their contribution to the company more efficiently.

Of course, there comes a point where being able to switch between several applications in order to complete the work becomes a whole different job on its own. APIs eliminate the hassle, which workers in a company might otherwise have to face when simultaneously using multiple applications. This results in a drastically more streamlined workflow and they can manage all their projects a lot better. There is a reason why there are over twenty thousand APIs (and growing).

Common Examples of APIs

The best thing is, you might have actually come across an API, but you didn’t even realize it. Some of the examples of APIs, which are quite commonly in use nowadays include:

  • Social media share icons: You must have clicked on one of those social media share icons on a video on YouTube or an article you have read somewhere to share it with your friends and family on social media. That is effectively an API in action. You have managed to move from one application to another without manually switching programs –  with just an effortless click or two.
  • Map Applications: There are applications like Uber or Yelp that provide complimentary location-based services. These are taking advantage of mapping applications like Google Maps sharing its data.
  • Software Platforms: For the more business relevant purposes, there are providers like NetSuite, Workfront and Salesforce among many others, which integrate the platforms they have with other essential apps for your business.
Advantages that APIs Offer

As a company that is starting up, in the middle of establishing itself or even as a renowned enterprise, you cannot miss out on the advantages that API integration has to offer for your business. Here are some of the most prominent benefits that APIs offer:

Automating Tasks

Clicking from one application and then moving to the next through to a different one manually does not exactly take a lot of time individually but the overall time actually adds up to a lot. The API integrations can automate the manual tasks so that the task of switching between applications while you work is effortless and smooth.

Jive is an API which integrates the cloud based business phone system with a range of different CRM (Customer Relationship Management) applications like Salesforce, Redtail and Curve Dental. Whenever a customer makes a call using the integration, the employee will receive a notification on the screen which will show the relevant customer information.

It saves a lot of time spent in the initial recognition of who is even calling, searching for their records in the database and then pulling out the information manually. It saves both you and the customer a valuable amount of time and makes the customers happier.

Help You Create New Products

API integrations have a lot of potential for making the digital business world a lot more efficient. There is a possibility of creating entirely new products which can offer businesses the chance to make them a part of their core operations or to integrate with their legacy systems.

Open Legacy, for instance, offers the perfect opportunity for businesses to make use of API integration through creating microservice infrastructure for them. A microservice is basically a software component that is decoupled and deployed from the legacy system that a company already has to run a single process of their business or a service individually. It works exactly like an API and owns its own storage.

Your company’s legacy system will remain untouched as a whole and only that specific operation or service will be enhanced. Of course, you have the option for further and more comprehensive integration.

It offers you the convenience of an API with the freedom to choose the microservices for rapid deployment and innovation anywhere for your company. You can always learn more about Open Legacy on their website.

Remaining Relevant

Perhaps one of the biggest advantages that API integrations has to offer to your company is the fact that it will help your company remain relevant. The world is moving at an incredibly fast pace when it comes to innovations – not just the business world; the world in general.

In a technologically advanced world, the industry and all the customers are evolving in the way they operate. In order to remain on top of things and ahead of the competition, these integrations can be vital. The APIs can enable your company crucial cross functionality with the current applications along with any and all upcoming innovations which your customers value.

The fact that your company will be so open-minded about taking the leap of faith and embracing all the innovations APIs bring for the business world will also create an association of trust and reliability for your business. It will also strengthen the credibility of your company’s brand and fuel continued success.

Final Thoughts

API Integrations can help you propel your business to a more successful future by leveraging the data of multiple applications simultaneously to make business processes more efficient, it can help you gain access to wider audiences and create a better sense of trust and credibility in the industry.

About Nikhil P Naik

Nikhil Naik has a Master's Degree in Information Systems, and is currently working as a Software Engineer at Microsoft. He also loves playing cricket, listening to music, and traveling. Twitter Handle - @buzz_nikhil.

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