How do APIs Help Integrate Your Organization?

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Laptops showing how APIs assist with integration

Whether you’re adding to your app ecosystem or working on a full digital transformation business strategy, your aim is a smooth enterprise integration process. But when you’re working with multiple programming languages, brands, or operating systems, it can get complicated quickly. API integration is now critical to business functionality in an increasingly technical world. It’s the best way to avoid compatibility issues with all your apps and opens the door for future implementations. Read on to learn how APIs integrate critical services and systems of your business.

What Is An API?

In simple terms, an API is a bit of software that acts as a messenger between apps. APIs can bridge the communication gap between previously incompatible programs and legacy systems. They also encourage collaboration and innovation by allowing development teams to access what were once proprietary features.

When implemented correctly, an API can act as the springboard for a push toward a composable enterprise architecture. Or you can use it to add new and popular features to your business without taking the time to code and test it all yourself. This will not only add to your customer experience but pave the way for your APIs to integrate critical components of your business.

Did you know that you can convert your old SOAP web service to a REST API in minutes? Let DreamFactory show you how. Sign up for our 14 day trial for free - no credit card required.

Examples Of APIs

For a better idea of how APIs integrate various systems and applications, let’s take a look at a couple of examples. Below, we describe a few successful APIs and use cases at work that you’ve probably seen before.

Private APIs

A good chunk of our entertainment today comes from streaming services like Netflix and Spotify. APIs make this technology possible. Streaming companies need to make content available for a wide range of devices at all times. With the various options on the market today, this can lead to compatibility issues without a technological middleman handling API calls. A streaming service’s API makes it possible to stream content everywhere to the end user on nearly any device, now and in the future. In this way, the API helps streaming services future-proof their offerings by leaving the door open for compatibility with newly created devices as they hit the market.

The device isn’t always a phone, computer, or tablet. The API connectivity also brings streaming services to your radio. That's one way APIs are important in the features of your vehicle, but it's not the only one. Manufacturers make use of APIs to exchange data to and from the cars they produce, even after consumers purchase them. This opens the door for more integration opportunities as manufacturers learn more about how the modern driver uses their products and adjusts their business models accordingly. APIs such as these form the basis of the Internet of Things (IoT).

Public Access

But APIs aren’t just for making your back-end business processes run smoothly. Picking up the right public API is one way to add more functionality to your business.

There’s a long list of public APIs available on Github right now, with various functionalities from data validation to social media. Developers can take advantage of these offerings to add new features and enhance the user experience. Indeed, public APIs are quickly becoming very popular with organizations looking to better understanding how APIs integrate their own business systems with publicly available information.

A more fun example of this is the social media bot. These bots typically contain code that ensures they respond to certain events such as a trigger word in a comment or a certain number of interactions. You can connect a bot to Twitter’s public API to feed it information on when certain trigger actions occur and program your own response. Using this technology, you can create a bot to handle posting at regular intervals or respond to certain tweets with the punchline of a joke in real-time. 

Getting back to business, you can use a public API for data integration in your own business processes. The Associated Press and other news outlets offer their APIs to the public. Or you can make use of automation with certain public APIs, adding functionalities like forecasting or sentiment analysis to your business.

How DreamFactory Can Help

An API should be the first stop on your digital transformation roadmap. But API management doesn’t have to be complicated. With the DreamFactory platform, you can get your first API up and running in minutes. Using your existing database, we’ll walk you through each step of the API building process. With the API in place, you can streamline your workflows and your integration strategy can begin.

We can also convert your outdated SOAP web service into a RESTful API. Take advantage of the added simplicity and flexibility that REST provides.

Ready to start your own API integration strategy? Let DreamFactory do the heavy lifting for you. Our 14-day free trial comes with a guided tour and all the resources you’ll need. Sign up today!