Application programming interface (API) is a series of subroutines, tools, and protocols which engineers use to build new software applications. These rules explain how the various components making up the software applications are to communicate and interact with one another. It is essentially a software intermediary which is found in-between the business applications and specific web server. This allows end-users to receive and transmit data using any suitable web-based software application. They can use:
- The interface of the software application to send a request which passes it to the application programming interface (API),
- The application programming interface (API)then interprets this data before passing it on to the web server,
- The web server then generates a response on receiving the information and passes it back to the API, and
- The application programming interface on acquiring the response translates and transmits it to the end user’s software application.
Why do companies need API integration tools?
API integration is the process of connecting multiple software applications and allowing them to transmit data to one another. The seamless data connectivity enables companies to integrate their cloud-based business software solutions with their on-premises IT infrastructure. This makes it easier for these corporate enterprises to automate and streamline their business processes.
Almost all companies use a wide range of business software solutions for their market operations. These include enterprise resource planning (ERP), electronic data interchange (EDI), customer relationship management (CRM), e-commerce storefronts, and accounting software platforms. Application programming interface (API) integration ensures the proper data synchronization and connectivity between these distinct business solutions. Only then can these business software solutions interact and work as one cohesive system.
The use of proper API integration tools enhances the visibility of vital data in the companies’ business software solution processes. The tools even eliminate the need for the enterprises’ employees’ to record identical bi-directional data in separate software solutions repetitively. This helps to streamline the workflow in the companies’ business processes by:
- Simplifying the synchronization and processing of online sales orders from the e-commerce storefront to the enterprise resource planning (ERP) platform,
- Ensure automatic updates of the new online sales orders that the e-commerce storefront executes into the enterprise resource planning (ERP) platform.
- Organizing customer information within the online sales orders in a proper manner before automatically entering data into the ERP platform’s database, and
- Ensure the automation of instant updates of inventory levels, sales and pricing information after successfully executing every online sale.
Installing and using suitable API integration tools enable companies to configure and integrate their business software solution seamlessly. This helps them to easily automate and streamline the workflow in their business processes to boost internal efficiency. Moreover, the tools even enable commercial enterprises to link their on-premise IT infrastructure to a third party’s cloud-computing platform.
However, the officials of these business organizations should be careful when it comes to choosing the right API integration tools. The ones they select should be compatible with their existing IT infrastructure, cost-effective, and have the latest drag and drop features installed. The tools should even support the ultramodern machine learning technologies, artificial intelligence, and Open Data Protocol (OData) service technology.