Unleash the essential facts about API integration: Needs and benefits
API integration is important, especially for companies handling multiple cloud-based apps and tools. There are a lot of reasons why API integration platforms are considered useful. In short, APIs help organizations become more flexible. They simplify design and administration, and offer opportunities for innovation.
An Application Programming Interface (API) is a software intermediary that serves as a communication link between myriad applications within an enterprise.
Apart from facilitating connectivity between applications through integration, devices or programs, it also processes requests and streamlines functions in a business ecosystem.
APIs allow an organization’s products or services to communicate with other products and services without having to know how they are implemented. They enable developers to make repetitive yet complex processes usable with little coding. This can simplify the app development process, saving a great deal of time and money. As a result, development teams can place their focus on governance activities rather than on their daily operational role.
Because APIs simplify the process of integrating new application components into existing architecture, they not only help developer teams take up the governance role but also collaborate. This speeds up their productivity.
In short, APIs help organizations become more flexible. They simplify design and administration and offer opportunities for innovation.
Types of APIs
After understanding the importance of APIs, one must become wary of the numerous types. One can find a host of APIs (almost 1500) in the ProgrammableWeb.
For example, Java APIs – these application interfaces within classes allow objects to communicate with each other in Java. Another example of an API is a web API, such as the Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP), Remote Procedure Call (RPC), and Representational State Transfer (REST).
Essence of API Integration
Businesses must integrate APIs to leapfrog the competition through automated tasks and enhanced product innovation.
API integration is deemed important, especially companies that are handling multiple cloud-based apps and tools. There are a lot of reasons why API integration platforms are considered useful.
Here are four of them:
API integration connects cloud apps
The number of cloud apps used in an enterprise has increased substantially in the last few years. As per a study by Forbes, typical enterprises make use of 6 cloud apps on an average. At one point in time, these apps were connected via legacy integration technology such as Enterprise Service Bus.
The primary disadvantage of relying on these ancient platforms is that they struggle to support modern API-connectivity beyond the firewall. To overcome this limitation and deliver better performance, these cloud apps need to be interconnected. API integration platforms play an important role here. API integration solutions that are born in the cloud can be used to establish a connection between modern-day cloud APIs efficiently.
Meets the needs
API integration platforms help enterprises meet the requirements of best-of-breed solutions. Let us take an example of a finance department in a typical organization. Everything from billing, handling taxes, dealing with accounts payable, and insurance payouts is under their purview.
While many tools available in the market today promise to execute all these tasks smoothly, they are not so efficient. Plus, they are expensive too.
Due to these pitfalls, many organizations deploy a team to build their own solutions by using best-of-breed solutions that handle specific tasks and data sets. API integration can connect apps and tools in these departments without risking efficiency.
Create new APIs quickly
Not so long ago, when a company needed an API, they had two options. Either they used what was readily available to them or they built a new one from scratch. In both scenarios, difficulties were bound to occur. While employing what is available can bring limitations, building a new one can be time-consuming and expensive to boot.
With an API integration platform, companies can create APIs easily with just a click. This saves time along with money and increases efficiency.
Extracts value from existing and legacy data sources
Most companies are unable to deal with data that is more than a year or even a couple of months old. In fact, this data ends up in a database somewhere. One of the major reasons for this under-utilization is how difficult it is to access and subsequently integrate it into current systems. API integration serves a great purpose here. Enterprises can create their APIs for internal usage, enabling them to easily obtain data from servers as well as databases that are old and reuse business logic and workflows.
In short, deploying an API integration platform is essential for improving an enterprise’s operational efficiency and value.