API Integration is a crucial part of an enterprise’s digital transformation. It allows organizations to seamlessly connect their data sources and systems in order to increase the efficiency of their business processes, simplify access for cross-functional teams, and enable technological innovation. In this blog post, we will explore what API integration is, how it works with different platforms, the benefits of using APIs within your organization, and why you should be integrating your company’s newest technologies with APIs.
API, or Applications Programming Interface, is a set of rules between two software systems that govern their communication. This allows different internal or external systems within an organization to communicate with one another and exchange data.
While APIs have always been around under the hood of computing, they only started becoming mainstream in the last decade as companies began breaking down their monolithic products into microservices, allowing them greater flexibility in building new features, quickly and with easy maintenance.
As more organizations recognize the value of using modern software development techniques like Cloud Computing, DevOps, and security compliance automation, the need for APIs will continue to grow over time.
The number of public APIs published has increased exponentially year after year; if you have not explored APIs within your organization, it is critical that you do so to understand their value and learn how to best use them over the next year.
Different Types Of API Integration
There are many different reasons why companies work with APIs, but there are three main integration scenarios:
1) Internal APIs for employees within a company to take advantage of various services, systems, or tools.
2) External facing business-to-business (B2B) APIs interact with other organizations’ systems as part of information exchange.
3) Public-facing developer APIs allow third-party developers access to your data and functionality through custom applications.
We will now discuss each type of API integration in more detail:
Internal APIs allow employees within your organization access to systems, information, and services they need to accomplish their daily tasks.
Think of the tools and resources available in a company like Gengo with an internal API that allows the Business Development team to query the status of orders being placed by customers, create projects for translation work using this data, check on the progress of these projects, report earnings back to our clients, etc.
B2B APIs are designed to facilitate communication between businesses or departments that are part of the same organization, yet need to share data with each other. One example is an API that allows HR departments to pull information like addresses, job titles, and years of service for employees in the finance department.
This data could then be shared with payroll to streamline paying employees within a company. Since APIs offer a simple way to look at different data sets, they offer an efficient way for systems within a business or organization to communicate.
A public API is available on the internet so that any organization or individual can interact with it without requiring to sign up. An example is Twilio’s SMS API– phone numbers marked as “Twilio” phones receive a text message upon an incoming call from that number.
Another example of public API is Gengo’s API which allows developers to access our services through custom applications.
How To Get The Technologies With APIs To Work?
Gengo offers a Translation API that allows developers to integrate machine translations into their own apps via HTTP requests. As we mentioned earlier in this blog post, there are three main components required for making an API work: the server (or machines) that hosts and runs your code; the coding language and framework within which your code is written; a 3rd party service provider like Twilio or Google Cloud Platform that powers additional functionality in your app.
It is critical that all of these pieces interact seamlessly with each other to prevent a negative experience. In order to achieve this, careful planning and coordination are needed.
APIs are not only about having your machine “talk” to another machine, but they also have the potential to revolutionize how companies work internally. The introduction of APIs at scale can introduce new challenges for IT teams that do not typically take part in software development operations (DevOps). This is why it is important for CIOs and CTOs to work with their development teams when planning any API project. We will now discuss some key areas where DevOps practices are essential for successful API adoption within the company:
Security: As we mentioned before, APIs are a secure way to seamlessly expose machine data without worrying about its safety. If an organization fails miserably at securing its internal systems, it will also fail at properly securing its APIs.
Continuous Integration and Deployment (CI/CD): CI/CD is a development process where code written by developers is automatically tested after changes have been made and then seamlessly deployed to servers for running depending on the outcome of tests. This process makes sure that any new features being implemented by software engineers do not result in bugs or errors that may impact user experience.
Monitoring: Monitoring is another key DevOps practice that enables companies to pinpoint issues with their systems as soon as they arise so they can be fixed immediately before they cause significant damage.
What Are The Benefits Of An API Strategy?
In an era where all businesses rely on technology, APIs have become a necessity for companies hoping to stay competitive in the market. APIs provide a way for different business units to share data with each other in order to work together as one organization, instead of an aggregation of separate departments trying to achieve various goals– many of which may not overlap with those from another department.
Moreover, being able to expose an API is a good way for companies to attract developers and encourage them to build interesting apps on top of their platform/data. This leads us into our next section where we discuss some noteworthy examples of successful businesses that have built their empires by opening up their systems via APIs:
Tech giants like Microsoft and Google have both invested heavily in making sure that third-party players use their operating systems. For example, by exposing APIs to Skype and other Microsoft apps, users can now make voice and video calls from within their Windows devices.
In addition to making it easy for other businesses to build on top of their own platform, both companies have been able to create a more user-friendly environment for people who use multiple services from the same company as everything is neatly interconnected through APIs.