While more businesses are recognizing that the data sets at their disposal are a treasure trove of information, they are also looking for ways to better integrate that data with their applications. That's where API-powered integration comes to the rescue.
Application Programming Interface (API) integration is becoming an important strategy as IT architecture becomes more complex. An API is simply a software intermediary that allows two applications to talk to each other.
Let's take a closer look at what goes into making these interfaces come to life and better benefitting workflow across multiple sectors.
What is API integration?
To better understand the API integration meaning, we must start with APIs themselves. Application programming interfaces, or APIs, as already defined above, are software intermediaries that allow two applications to talk to each other.
As your business expands in today’s digital world, you'll rely on more interfaces than ever to coordinate exchanges and interactions. That's where API integration comes into play.
API-led integration connects data and apps to allow these workflows to be reused by multiple parties inside and outside of the organization. API-led integration can contain very different applications and data sources that are hosted on-premises, through cloud services, and beyond.
As such, API integration forms a foundation for interoperability across an enterprise ecosystem that abstracts the differences across information assets so that customers don't have to understand all of the technical details of those assets.
An API-led approach pulls away from the past use of informational assets being connected together via enterprise service buses. This approach through a digital transformation accelerates the connectivity of assets.
Capabilities of API Integration
API-led integration technology has the ability to deliver data, content, and other information to websites and mobile apps.
Proper API management allows anyone to curate content. With the rise of mobile apps, APIs can be used to send and receive chunks of digital resources used in both personal and business realms.
API design and integration is no longer for just developers. Anyone can use a web page that contains these interfaces. In fact, API providers are making it a priority to focus on non-developer users such as data journalists and analysts.
API-driven businesses are consequently emerging as the way of the future. Many organizations are finding that they can better interact with the public through better API design and simplified processes. This makes it possible for businesses to widely access resources from different data sources that they never realized were possible before.
Additionally, APIs provide a level of simplicity for enterprise application development using microservices. This empowers average individuals to take control of their data online.
API literacy is much like financial literacy: you don't have to understand how these interfaces work, but you can use them to have more control over your data and information.
Key Use Cases
APIs are generally broken down into three different types: internal, public, and partner.
Internal APIs connect data and backend resources for integration development. These interfaces are not exposed to anyone outside of a company. This can be used as a means to bring paper-based systems into your business in a different way than ever before, such as procedures for an airline before takeoff. This also modernizes infrastructure and application development to support complex data flow and deliver real-time operations.
Public APIs expose internal data and functionality through interfaces used by external developers. This can be used by retailers to promote their products through various social media outlets or to offer a service delivery that interconnects such as having a hotel offer up discounts on tickets to concerts or shows to people visiting a particular destination.
Partner APIs better establish B2B connections for better control of your supply chain with these new tools. By making sure these data types are properly monitored, API integration can elevate a company and its various applications to the next level.
All in all, integrating API into your business or enterprise systems can greatly enhance your workflow and give you a marked edge in today’s cutthroat business landscape.