API as a tool for connecting different systems

    14 minutes
    Author: Vadym Zamoroka

API as a tool for connecting different systems

    14 minutes
    Author: Vadym Zamoroka

The term API stands for "application programming interface" meaning that it is a functionality that allows two or more programs to exchange data or messages with each other. An API can be seen as a kind of virtual interaction interface to enter/read data or send/receive data. Web APIs can be easily accessed via the Internet.

What exactly is API integration?

API integration is the process of establishing a secure, reliable and efficient connection between the API of two programs. This allows them to communicate with each other and exchange data. Integration allows companies to use data from multiple applications to improve the functionality of their own business processes. The inclusion of advanced and more functional technologies in an existing business technology package allows you to expand the capabilities of internal workflow and customer experience.

The need for API integration cannot be ignored, especially if a company is dealing with cloud-based programs and tools. It forms the basis of communication between cloud programs and other systems in the process.

Here are a few more reasons why API data integration is important:

REASON 1. Stable connection between several applications and systems

No matter what applications and systems are used in an organization, they all need to communicate with each other to be kept in sync. This synchronization is established through API integration.

REASON 2. The level of team productivity increases

API integration increases team productivity by removing the need for developers to manually integrate applications. Developers can be free to perform more important tasks rather than establishing connections and maintaining API. In addition, such integrations have the ability to involve non-technical staff in creating and managing custom API.

REASON 3. Easy creation of new API connections

Previously, creating a new API was limited to using available options or creating new ones from scratch. The first option provides limited functionality and virtually no control over its operation. The second option is time-consuming, expensive and resource-intensive. You can count the number of times you'll need to create an API to allow your apps to access new data. With API integration platforms, however, creating a new API is a breeze. There is no need for additional investment. You can create a new API using an existing integration through an integration platform.

By keeping data synchronized across all connected systems, productivity is improved, so you can use that data to improve efficiency and increase profits.

4 ways to use API integration:

From applications and data to business ecosystems, API is quickly becoming a mainstay in most enterprise integration strategies. Here are just four of the countless ways your business can start using API to facilitate integrations.

WAY 1. API for product configuration, administration and monitoring

This type of API allows you to perform any type of administration of your cloud that you can perform through an administrative graphical interface. You can run and manage an autonomous system without having to go to the keyboard and literally touch anything. All data management functions are available today through the REST API. There are limited options for managing translation or transformation through the API, but part of that is that transformation is autonomous, so the studio and runtime environment are separated. So, in many ways, while there are opportunities, there are still some gaps that need to be filled.

WAY 2. API for downloading files

If you look at data movement capabilities, you will usually start with a few secure communication protocols. These protocols are used for file-based integrations and include FTP, SFTP, AS2 and, as is often the case, a secure portal for human-to-system file flows. If you want to upload a file, you can use REST APIs to do so, as well as a helper API that can be customized to programmatically upload and download files to and from the integration platform. These types of API address how a company can work within the framework of traditional data movement and support diverse and flexible file-based integration scenarios in their environment.

WAY 3. Use tools to connect other systems using their API

The third example concerns API provided by other systems rather than your own. Some of the most popular examples of core corporate systems include Zoho One, Pipedrive, Odoo and others. In this case, these systems provide these APIs, which allows the company to use them (the API) for application-based integrations.

WAY 4. Use of cloud-based API infrastructure for use by other systems

The fourth and final example is actually the other side of the previous example, where the enterprise will use the system's API. Here, the enterprise exposes the API for others to access. For example, providing an API for ordering products. Someone at Zoho One wants someone to have access to their environment to be able to perform transactions using the application through their API.

So how do they do it?

This is done by exposing the API to the world, which other users outside the company can refer to and access. If someone wanted to provide an API for ordering a product or checking on their order, they could use integration technology to create that API and let people know in real time what is happening with their order.

An important difference between the third and fourth examples is that the third example calls or uses an API provided by someone else, while the fourth example provides an API to query other systems.

In general, API integration is important for logistics companies, manufacturers, wholesalers, retailers and others because it allows you to preserve existing applications and open them up to other systems and applications throughout your B2B ecosystem. This will accelerate business processes, enable faster application integration and improve visibility into your end-to-end business processes, ultimately resulting in increased profits, better relationships and higher productivity.

Additional benefits of API integration:

As you see, API integration provides many valuable benefits to your business as a whole, but diving a little deeper, what else can API integration help you with?

For decades, integration has been one of the most complex, specialized, and frustrating tasks in the IT world. API makes integration easier by simplifying the connection, movement and transformation of data. By enabling different systems or applications to collaborate and share information seamlessly, all your business processes become fast and autonomous.

Performing tasks manually is cumbersome and time-consuming. Automating routine tasks through API integration is a reliable way to make your life easier.

The bottom line

To summarize, we have the following main advantages of API integration and the most notable ones are

ADVANTAGE 1. Automation

API integration makes it possible to automatically transfer information and data from one program to another. Successful automation helps to eliminate the human factor, which saves time and significantly reduces the number of errors.

ADVANTAGE 2. Scalability

API integration allows businesses to grow because they don't have to start from scratch when building connected systems and applications.

ADVANTAGE 3. Simplified visibility/communication/reporting

API integration enables end-to-end visibility across systems and processes for improved communication and reporting. With a simplified approach, you can efficiently track and monitor data, thus creating reliable reports based on specific and comprehensive data sets.

ADVANTAGE 4. ЗReduces the number of errors

API integration allows you to transfer complex and voluminous data with fewer errors and inconsistencies.

API integration

API integrations are very important for running your business and it doesn't matter if it's big or small, because when you build your own API interface, a small business can turn into a big one in a short time. Imagine that you are a small credit union that provides money loans and you have built an API interface for your CRM and your website/landing page. This allows you to cooperate with various lead generators that will provide you with a stream of leads/customers to process. Accordingly, through the API integration, you will automatically be able to send processing statuses and commission for them to the lead generator in response, without spending additional precious time on this, which is better spent on lead processing. And this is just one of the small examples of API integration capabilities.

Our company AlterEGO has been engaged in API integrations for over 10 years. We have performed integrations for both large businesses (pharmacy chains, credit institutions, online stores) and small businesses that needed small integrations (for example: transferring a tag between Pipedrive CRM and CloudTalk (call center), where standard integration and integration through Zapier (a service that connects different services without using development) did not provide such an opportunity to transfer this field.

API integration is an integral part of the digital era. Businesses that thrive are already enjoying the various benefits of integration. Therefore, you should also consider it if you want to outperform your competitors.

If you want to know more about REST API integration or need to integrate your CRM with your website or any other systems, contact us. We will discuss your business process and start making your business faster, more digitalized and more autonomous.


Julia Andrusiak

Account Director

+38 050 700 75 72


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