Before we get into what API integration means, allow us to first delve into the subject of what API even is.
API stands for “application programming interface”. It is essentially an interactive platform for communication between data, applications and devices that help build application software through the use of various tools, definitions and protocols.
To better help understand, we can compare it to User Interface: while UI is what humans use to interact with software, APIs are what the computer system uses for the same task.
The most common and widely used API would be the REST (Representation State Transfer) API, which primarily assists with web services. The communication process typically involves an API-enabled application, a remote server and a data request. What the REST API would do in this scenario is facilitate successful interaction between the application and the online server to make that data request, so as to receive a response to said request.
The other two types of API are SOAP (Simple Object Access Protocol) and RPC (Remote Procedural Call).
API integration is essentially the establishment of a connection between two different applications using their APIs, so as to enable communication and exchange of information between them. It offers the opportunity to establish communication with backend systems. For businesses, API integration allows for the development of a connection with the consumer, paving the way for digital transformation and improved user experience. All in all, this helps not only boost traffic for a brand’s site, but consequently increases sales as well.
API integration establishes a channel for the brand to sell its products and services online. Moreover, it allows for access to services by the addition of codes to applications, enhancing connectivity, functionality and thus user experience.
API is an important tool for the productive processing of information requests and the efficient functioning of enterprise systems. It acts as an online programming interface for the organization. Some of the advantages of API integration for online businesses include the following:
Our team at Digicoms consists of web developing professionals, persistent in the aim to relay your unique brand identity and voice to your target audience. To develop API integration, there are a few questions that must be addressed; like what type of API and data payload we are dealing with, and whether or not we have proper documentation (adequate documentation clarifies how to format data requests and what data is available). Our team will carry out thorough research so as to gauge whether integration is possible, and proceed to planning the data flow (the data to be transferred). For this step, we will keep under consideration authentication instance, data format, and the timing, amount and speed of data transfer. Data flows and consequent development will be meticulously planned out.
The next step would be the development process, and then testing. For any element of web development, it is important to test its efficiency before a final launch. There are two types of testing that are typically carried out: development testing (to ensure the authentication is accounted for and that the data is progressing to its endpoint without any hiccups) and use-case testing (this is testing carried out in conditions the integration will be expected to perform under).
APIs have become an essential part of the digital world, so much so that you can find it as an integral element in any industry. However, with these tools one would require the adequate equipment for them to function seamlessly. That is where API integration comes in. Regardless of what faction of business you belong to, API integration is a process that is paramount for an online presence of a brand in this day and age.