API Integration Strategy: 4 Ways That DreamFactory Uses APIs

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Tunnel showing an API integration strategy

APIs (application programming interfaces) help companies increase functionality without expensive development. By using APIs, businesses can add new features to existing applications quickly and easily. Whether you're working on expanding your app ecosystem or a complete digital transformation for your business processes, your goal is to have a seamless company connection process. However, dealing with numerous programming languages, server types, and client platforms can be time-consuming and challenging without the proper API integration strategy.

That's why an API integration strategy is critical for large enterprise companies. Integration is "the action or process of combining two or more things." So in the business world, when we talk about integrations, we're connecting software applications to share data and processes.

What Are the Common Challenges With API Integration?

APIs are a complex process that can be difficult to understand or use without the proper tools. Additionally, not all API providers offer the same features or support.

Some primary challenges that software developers face when creating an API integration strategy are:

  • Managing their API ecosystems
  • Combining unrelated databases
  • Creating flexible scripts
  • Proper training and resources

Here we will discuss these primary challenges and identify how you can streamline your API workflows and achieve a successful API integration strategy for your company.

Managing Your API Ecosystem

One of the biggest challenges developers face is managing their API ecosystems and preventing compatibility issues. When we talk about an API ecosystem, we're talking about the numerous applications that need to share data.

It can be challenging to keep track of all the moving parts and ensure that each application is compatible with the others. One of the best ways to streamline your development process is to use an API integration platform.

API Integration platforms can offer a way to connect all your applications and data sources in one place. This can include connector libraries, code generation, and an easy-to-use interface that makes it simple to connect all of your applications.

To best manage your API ecosystem, look for an open-source platform that connects to any data source, including SQL, NoSQL, file storage systems, and external web services.

This will enable you to connect all your applications quickly and easily without worrying about compatibility issues.

Combining Unrelated Databases

Another common issue developers face is combining unrelated databases, which can be challenging because different database types store data in various formats.

For example, SQL databases store data in tables while NoSQL databases store data in documents. This means that when trying to combine two databases, you need to convert the data from one format to another.

Using a data mesh feature solves this problem by allowing you to combine any number of unrelated databases into a single API. With a data mesh architecture, you can easily query multiple database types with a single API call.

This saves you time and effort because you don't have to write code to convert the data from one format to another.

Using a data mesh architecture is particularly useful for companies that have siloed data or are migrating to a new database platform or CRM and works well with connector applications.

For example, when using a CRM such as Salesforce, you might want to combine data from your customer database, accounting system, and email marketing platform. A data mesh makes it easy to do this without writing any code.

In addition, a data mesh can be used to create a virtual data warehouse. This is useful for companies that want to combine data from multiple sources but don't have the budget for a traditional data warehouse. Learn more about what data mesh is today.

Creating Flexible Scripts

When developing an app, you must consider how your users will use the app. This means creating flexible API scripting that can be easily modified to meet the needs of your users.

When writing scripts, developers will often hard-code values specific to their environment. This can cause problems when the script is used in a different environment, such as moving from development to production.

To avoid this issue, you should use look to use a scripting service. These services allow you to write scripts in JavaScript or TypeScript that can be easily executed in any environment.

Using scripting, you can obfuscate endpoints, automate workflows, schedule notifications updates, and much more.

For example, let's say you have an e-commerce API that returns product data. With API scripting, you can add a custom script that calculates shipping costs based on the customer's location.

API scripting is a flexible way to add custom functionality to your APIs without writing a separate microservice or application.

Proper Training and Resources

Software developers' last common issue is a lack of proper training and resources.

Having the proper training, recourses, documentation, and tutorials in place is essential when working with APIs. This is important because if another developer or company wants to work with your API, they need to understand how it works.

One of the most popular documentation platforms is Swagger.io. Swagger is a tool that allows developers to document their APIs easily, and it also provides a user interface that makes it easy to test API calls.

Swagger documentation is kept in real-time, so as your API evolves, you never have to worry about it becoming outdated. In addition, you can use Swagger documentation to train new developers on your API. This will ensure a smooth integration process when transferring data or when you need to give someone access to your API for the first time.

Documents help with authentication, which is required for all API calls. To learn how to build and integrate your API docs on other platforms, check out this article.

Solving API Integration Challenges With DreamFactory

As a software developer, there are many obstacles to creating the perfect API integration. Whether looking to build a SAAS, e-commerce, or mobile app, you will need an API integration strategy in place that enables you to avoid the most common mistakes.

One of the best places to start is to work with a flexible API management platform that takes care of the heavy lifting for you.

DreamFactory is one of the best platforms for API integration. It provides multiple use cases and offers many features that make it easy to start. The platform includes everything you need to generate, secure, and deploy APIs quickly and easily. In addition, the Data Mesh and Live API Documentation features make it easy to combine data from multiple sources and train new developers on your API.

Don't waste any more time with complex ETL tools or manual API creation. DreamFactory is the only solution you need for all your API needs. 

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