Are you thinking about jumping into the vast world of API integration for your business or website? It’s something that most companies are using to a large degree these days. The benefits are vast, and the abilities are nearly endless—but where do you begin?
That’s what we’re going to dive into today. We’ll give you a high-level overview on API integrations, the various 3rd party API integrations that can help, and how to start. Read along with us and figure out why you need to be using this cutting-edge technology.
What Exactly are API Integrations?
API stands for Application Programming Interface and can be best defined as the bridge that allows any application to communicate data with other programs or operating systems. This is extremely helpful in building out robust systems that work in unison.
API integration is nearly everywhere you look these days, and almost everything within the realm of the digital world is connected in some way with API. This is mostly due to the ease of establishing the API connection, you don’t have to be a software genius or even great at coding.
API’s can largely be thought of as the messenger between two bits of software, but on a much larger and faster scale. One piece of software requests data from another and the API, or messenger, does all the work. This is important to remember as we dive further into 3rd party API and how they are important for smooth digital operations, especially in the business world.
Common Uses for API Integrations
Now that you have a general idea about API integration and what it does, how does that apply to the real world?
As we previously touched on, API is used extensively in just about every aspect of the digital world but there are few instances that are a little more common. The first of which is online marketplaces.
Online marketplaces need to function in a world that is constantly moving. Due to time zones around the globe, they are technically always open, so automation through API is paramount to their success.
When an order is placed online, many different applications—connected through API integrations—work to run the payment, send the order to fulfillment, and send the confirmation email to the customer. This all happens within moments at any hour of the day thanks to API integrations.
In addition to their value in the online marketplace, API integrations are also very important processes for sharing information between the cloud and software systems within a business.
This is where 3rd parties come into play. Often times valuable data retrieval and storage systems like Snowflake or BigQuery are connected with customer’s CRM systems to create a seamless data entry solution. Customer information that is stored in the data warehouse is shared with this system allowing all customer data to be entered and updated in real time, without human intervention or labor.
These are just a few of the most common ways businesses use API integration, but there is much more that can be done.
Is a 3rd Party API Integration Right for Me?
After discussing the ways that API integration can be used and where its most applicable, we must delve into deploying API integration.
Deploying API integrations is much easier than writing code and trying to connect applications manually, this is for sure. While you don’t need to be a coding wizard to get it done, it certainly can present challenges, especially for companies that are scaling.
Expecting your data analyst team to grind out the work can be cumbersome to them, and keep them from providing the main service they need to provide to your company, and that is meaningful data to drive good business decisions.
This is why hiring a mediator in the middle has become so popular in the deployment of API integrations. Experts who have the skills and know how to get all of your systems set up, and working correctly.
This will give your team more bandwidth to become key stakeholders in the company and do what they do best—analyze data. It also prevents you from having to hire specialized team members to manage and deploy these systems.
While all of this can likely be done in house, its much faster and cleaner to have a 3rd party handle the dirty work of API integrations for you.
API integrations are paramount to any business application in the modern day. Applying them to your business shouldn’t be a question. Having them deployed in the correct manner and with velocity is key however, and this is why 3rd party integration is probably the best choice for those who are just getting started with them. Try it out, you won’t regret it.