The era of digital transformation has entirely evolved the IT industry, opening pathways to a pool of opportunities and exposure. However, the transformation is subjected to certain challenges that require businesses to expand their horizons and allow third-party applications and systems to help them through their business workflows.
Applications and systems need to communicate seamlessly. Such a connection and synchronization is possible with the integration platform-as-a-service (iPaaS) model, delivered via API integration.
The concept of API integration allows organizations to transfer and process more data between the applications and systems used for critical business functions. It offers a diverse range of methodologies for businesses to allow flawless communication and information sharing between applications.
Before this article unfolds the many benefits of API integration and its importance for businesses, here's what an API means.
An API or Application Programming Interface is a software code, normally termed as an intermediary between two applications, that allows the applications to communicate with each other and share information. In other words, an API facilitates data transfer between two systems using API request and response model as a medium of communication.
What is API Integration?
It is now clear that applications and systems communicate with each other via APIs but how does the process work?
How are APIs able to talk with each other?
Here’s where integration serves the purpose.
API integration is the process of establishing a safe, reliable, and efficient connection between the APIs of two applications so they can talk to each other and share data. The integration allows businesses to use data from multiple applications to improve the functionality of their own business processes. It is the incorporation of advanced and more functional technologies into a business’s already existing technology stack so they can enhance the capabilities of their internal workflows and customer experience.
The applications participating in the integration remain intact in terms of their internal structure and working during integration. However, their individual APIs need to be robust to avoid any failures during and after the integration.
API integrations also need a platform to get in place. Such platforms are known as API integration platforms and are centralized hubs that provide businesses with tools to build API integrations and access all their APIs from one location. For a company’s software ecosystem that evolves and adapts continuously, integration platforms facilitate modification of integration, updating and replacing APIs, process automation, and much more.
Why is API Integration Important?
The need for API integration cannot be ignored, especially if the company deals with cloud-based applications and tools. It forms the basis of connection and communication between cloud apps and other systems in the process.
Here are some more reasons why API integration is important.
Seamless connection between multiple apps and systems
No matter what apps and systems are employed in an organization, they all need to communicate with each other to maintain synchronization between themselves. Such sync is established with the help of API integration. From cloud-based applications to best-of-breed solutions, integration can connect them with each other and business applications to establish an all-encompassing technology stack.
Improved team productivity
API integrations boost team productivity as they eliminate the task of manually connecting applications and data sources. The developers, coders, and other IT staff can be available to handle more important IT activities rather than establishing connections and maintaining APIs. Moreover, such integrations have the capability to engage non-technical staff into creating and managing their own APIs.
Easy creation of new API connections
Earlier creation of new APIs was limited to either using the available options or creating new ones from scratch. While the first option brings limited functionality and little to no control over its operation, the second one is time-consuming, costly, and resource-eating. You may consider the number of times you will need to build an API to allow your applications the exposure to new data. However, with API integration platforms, creating a new API is as easy as a few clicks. There's no need for additional investment. You can build a new API using your existing integration via the integration platform.
Examples of API Integration
From the dropbox attachment you send through an email to the slack notifications you receive, almost everything in your IT world has a connection to API integration. The Tripadvisor that you refer to also collects data from hotels and airlines via API connections.
One of the most popular examples of API integration is reflected in the eCommerce industry. B2B eCommerce software like inventory management, shipping software, ERP, order management, and similar applications need to integrate with eCommerce platforms, including Magento, Shopify, Amazon, eBay, WooCommerce, BigCommerce, etc. so they can get and manage store data from these platforms and perform their core functionality.
B2B software can provide their specific functionality to e-retailers only when they have access to data connected with customers, orders, products, and categories of the online stores based on eCommerce platforms. All the systems are dependent on such data to function and to be able to help e-retailers in automating and managing their eCommerce business seamlessly.
For such an integration software vendors need third-party services like the one provided by API2Cart. It is a unified API that allows software vendors to integrate their applications with multiple eCommerce platforms at once. Hence if the software needs access to a list of customers, products, orders, or similar data from Shopify, Magento, WooCommerce, or Amazon, they can send an API request to API2Cart.
API2Cart then sends the same request to the APIs of the concerned eCommerce platforms. The latter responds to the API2Cart with requested data, which in turn transfers the same into API responses back to the software. This way, the software can access all the data it requires from the eCommerce platforms.
With API2Cart, no matter which eCommerce software you deal in, you can integrate your software with multiple shopping carts of your choice and expand your business.
API integration is an indispensable part of the digital era. Thriving businesses are already leveraging the multifold benefits offered by integration and you should also consider it if you are willing to outperform your competition.
Third-party service providers like API2Cart are your one-stop solution for all the integration needs. It allows your software to connect with more than 40 shopping carts and marketplaces in just one go, eliminating the need to connect with individual platforms one by one. It, therefore, saves you a lot of time, money, and resources, which you would otherwise invest in developing separate integrations.
Moreover, with API2Cart methods, you cannot just access data related to customers, orders, products, or categories, you also get to edit, delete, and update it according to the requirements of the software process. The unified API provides more than 100 methods to do so.
You just need to connect your software with API2Cart and it will automatically integrate your software to all the shopping platforms like Shopify, Magento, WooCommerce, Amazon, etc. the ones you select.