This is the era of advanced technology where businesses run on software. This entails storing business data and moving it from place to place. In previous days, the software collects the data in a siloed manner. This meant it was only accessible in one place, cut off from the rest of the world. Businesses struggled to pull data from different locations. Merging it in essential ways was hard. This isolated data only provided a fraction of its potential value.
But in modern applications, the data needs to be free. With the start of the web, data is available everywhere. Sharing data has had an exponential effect on the power of software. Applications share data using some form of API (Application Programming Interface).
API Integration empowers you to combine, track, and add new APIs.
What is API?
An API is a collection of protocols, definitions, and tools that permit the interaction and communication between software components. It enables a user to communicate with a web-based web tool or application. With an API, clients can use an interface to request something from an app. Then, the application will pass the data to an API, which will interpret the information and give a quick response. An API changes the returned data into something that the user can understand.
What is API Integration?
API integration is defined as the process of building a means for two or more APIs to share data and communicate with each other without human interruption. It requires the use of APIs to facilitate communication between two web tools or applications. It enables companies to automate their systems, improve the seamless sharing of data, and integrate current applications.
API integration has become crucial in the modern world because of the explosion of cloud-based products and apps. As such, companies have to develop a connected system where data will be delivered flawlessly between different software tools without the requirement to do it manually.
API integration has proved to be the much-required solution as it allows the sharing of process and enterprise data among applications in a distributed ecosystem. It effectively enhances the flexibility of information and service delivery, as well as performs the embedding of content from different sites and apps quite easily. An API acts as the interface that allows the integration of two applications.
In short, we can say, API integration is a connection between two or more applications, via their APIs, that lets those systems exchange data.
Popular Types Of Web APIs:
Application Programming Interfaces come in many types. API designers can pick from a range of protocols and standards when building a new API, as per the type of API they are creating, and its objective. Here is the list of most popular types and protocols of API including REST API protocols.
These are the APIs that can be reached using the HTTP protocol. The API specifies endpoints, and original request and response formats. Web APIs cover the APIs used to communicate with the browser. They can be services for example web notifications and web storage.
Different web APIs feature different levels of security and privacy, involving open, internal, and partner APIs. Various web APIs can be blended into a composite API known as a collection of data or service APIs.
Open APIs or external or public APIs, are available to developers and other users with minimum restrictions. They only need registration, and API key or maybe completely open. They are designed for external users to access data or services.
These APIs are intended to be covered by external users. They are applied within a company to share resources. They enable different teams or sections of the business to consume each other’s tools, data, and programs. These APIs come up with many benefits over traditional integration techniques.
Technically, Partner APIs are just like open APIs, but they give limited access, often controlled through a third-party API gateway. They are designed for a particular reason, such as granting access to a paid-for service. This is a very usual pattern in software as a service ecosystem.
API Architecture & Protocol:
REST or Representational State Transfer is a popular web API architecture. To be a REST API, an API must adhere to certain architectural constraints, or principles, involving:
Statelessness: no client context is stored on the server between requests.
Cacheability: clients can cache answers, so a REST API response must explicitly state whether it can be cached or not.
Client-server architecture: the interface is separated from the backend and data storage. This allows for flexibility, and for different components to evolve independently of each other.
Layered system: the API will work whether it is communicating directly with a server, or through an intermediary such as a load balancer.
Significance of API integration
API integration allows the handoff of information and data from one application to the next automatically
API integration allows the transfer of complex and voluminous data with reduced errors and inadequacies.
The use of API integration allows businesses to grow since they don’t need to start from scratch when creating connected systems and applications.
The use of API integration allows you to have end-to-end visibility of your systems and processes for improved communication and reporting.
This is all about API and API integration. After acknowledging above factors, it is crystal clear that API integration can help your business in many ways. It can streamline your business and automate complex repetitive tasks in a better way.