5 Essential APIs for Application Integration | Dreamfactory

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Trying to determine what applications your organization needs? The application integration question can be a challenging exercise. According to a recent study, only 30% of companies succeed at digital transformation. Their lack of innovation proved one key point: companies must be agile and quick enough to implement new technologies if they wish to remain competitive.

Companies must adopt modern information flow practices to avoid being left behind due to digital disruption. There’s no question that web service APIs (application programming interfaces) are at the heart of information sharing today. Online shopping, mobile apps, and logging in with Facebook or Google credentials are all made possible via the wide use of APIs.

APIs are everywhere, and people expect the convenience and modern features that come with them. Integration is increasingly becoming a necessary part of any company’s digital ecosystem if they want to succeed in today’s marketplace.

If your environment is starting with few or no integrations, this can all sound a little overwhelming. You may feel like you’re already behind in the race and must catch up. But there are several easy ways to leverage the APIs of commonly used applications and start reaping the benefits right now.

This blog post will look at powerful API integration tools that can be quickly implemented with popular business applications Calendly, Dropbox, Google Contacts, Stripe, and Intercom. Some integrations are with equally popular apps and services like Facebook, PayPal, and Squarespace.

Your organization is likely using one or more of these services, but if not, read on anyway. The apps you do use surely offer API endpoint integrations, and the following list will give you a good idea of what can be done with popular business tools.

This application integration, when woven together, create a seamless user experience. Here are five API types you might use in your next project.

1. API Type: Calendly

Calendly is a powerful scheduling platform that simplifies coordinating and scheduling meetings between multiple invitees. With Calendly, you can eliminate the back-and-forth emails and allow invitees to schedule meetings on your calendar based on your availability preferences. Simply create a link and share it. The invitees can then schedule time on your calendar via the link. The app also automates reminders and follow-ups. 

Common Calendly Integrations

Salesforce – Salesforce is a CRM platform used to manage the entire sales pipeline. With this API type, developers can perform tasks such as automatically scheduling meetings based on new leads. This integration allows team members to track and measure events by campaign, time period, meeting type, and a host of other fields shared between Calendly and Salesforce.

QuickBooks – QuickBooks Online enables businesses of all sizes to keep track of finances in an easy-to-use tool. Integrating with Calendly lets users create new invoices, receipts, or bank deposits based on Calendly events.

ClickFunnels – Automating sales using ClickFunnels eliminates the time-consuming task of following up on leads. An API type such as Calendly allows for embedding a calendar into the marketing funnel.

2. API Type: Dropbox

Managing documents across an entire company can create chaos and lead to a document management headache. Dropbox, a cloud storage system, simplifies document management. Dropbox provides complete control over organizing content and makes it easy to share documents between team members.

Common Dropbox API Integrations

Asana – Asana is a project management platform to coordinate multiple projects across the organization. Developers can do things such as attach Dropbox files directly to Asana tasks or create a new document in Dropbox based on an Asana task. With this integration in place, Dropbox files and folders can be browsed directly in Asana. Using Dropbox's version control in the background, once a file is updated, the Asana task is automatically updated.

Shopify – Shopify makes building e-commerce websites a breeze by providing all tools necessary to create an online store. Developers can use this Shopify API type to perform tasks such as creating a new file in Dropbox based on criteria such as an abandoned cart, a new order, or a new fulfilled order.

PayPal – With PayPal, individuals and businesses can send and receive money via email. A common Dropbox integration is to create a text file or folder when there is a successful sale in PayPal. If you are using the Dropbox Shop feature and selling downloads to documents in your Dropbox, the API allows PayPal to be your payment processor. This setup also integrates with Dropbox Shop's revenue, sales, and traffic reports by pulling data from PayPal via a REST API.

3. API Type: Google Contacts

Google Contacts is Google’s contact management tool available with Gmail or as a standalone option with Google Workspace.

Common Google Contacts Integrations

LinkedIn – As a networking and career platform, LinkedIn empowers users to connect with other professionals around the world. The integration syncs contact information between Google Contacts and your LinkedIn connections.

Typeform – Typeform is a tool that lets users create web forms with a drag-and-drop web interface. A common use case for the Typeform API type is to create a new Google contact based on a form entry.

Facebook – The popular social media platform lets users connect with friends and family all over the world on a single platform. Developers can integrate the Facebook connector with Google Contacts to keep contacts in sync across both services. 

4. API Type: Stripe

As one of the most common online payment platforms, Stripe also offers robust invoicing capabilities. For many organizations, application integration efforts start with the integration of Stripe and will have your business ready to issue invoices, manage subscriptions and track payment from day one.

Common Stripe Integrations

Google Contacts – A useful integration of Google Contacts is adding or updating a contact when a new customer is created in Stripe.

Kajabi – Kajabi is a platform for delivering online courses. A Stripe integration with Kajabi would allow customers to pay for a course through Stripe. 

Zendesk – This consolidated customer support, sales, and marketing platform helps sales teams to nurture leads better. A common use case for this integration is creating a new customer or invoice in Stripe when a new ticket gets created in Zendesk.

5. API Type: Intercom

Intercom is a messaging platform that enables companies to communicate with website visitors through a dashboard.

Common Intercom Integrations

Squarespace – As a website builder, Squarespace lets customers build professional and modern-looking sites using templates and a drag-and-drop interface. Connecting Intercom with Squarespace adds real-time customer communication to the site.

Google Tasks – Using the Intercom API type, developers can create workflows, such as adding a new item in Google Tasks when a new user is created in Intercom.

Toggl – Toggl is a web-based time entry tool. Integrating Toggl with Intercom enables functionality such as creating a new entry in Toggle based on a user event in Intercom.

Benefits of an Application Integration

It’s easy to see how performing digital transformation via these integrations adds new features to your existing software and improves business processes. But in the big picture, there are several other benefits to these and other API integrations. Here’s a rundown of some of the most important:   Reduced costs: Combining two data sources to create new features means that you don’t have to invest in new software to get the same functionality. API integrations save money by making the most out of what you already have.   Improved collaboration: One of the biggest risks of not integrating is information getting lost in data silos. When applications don’t share their data, employees are unaware of the information that’s available to them. But when your information systems platform is built on integrated apps, backend data flows across all the applications in your organization, enabling better collaboration between employees, management, and customers.   Better security: Attempting to create your own information-sharing solutions via internal software development means you have to take on security considerations yourself. On the other hand, the public APIs that application providers make available already have security protocols built in. When you use these APIs and follow their integration process, you can be confident that your data is being shared securely.   Competitive advantage: Combining data from multiple sources means you have more information available for metrics and analytics. When your IT and business analysts have more information to work with, you’re better equipped to find opportunities in the marketplace that otherwise would have been hidden from you. Knowledge is power, and data is especially powerful when you are trying to find a competitive advantage in your market.   Mobility: Cloud-based SaaS applications are available wherever your workforce is. Today, remote work and hybrid schedules have become the new normal. Building an information systems platform on tightly integrated cloud applications means that your employees who work from home or in remote offices have access to the same data as employees in the office.

Application Integration with DreamFactory

Software application integration via APIs is the future of enterprise enablement. By integrating several API types, companies can build robust and feature-rich applications. These apps are vital to meeting customer demand, but managing integrations requires a trusted API management partner. Sign up for DreamFactory and our API integration platform and get access to an expansive catalog of these API types and more — all available and ready for immediate use.

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