What is an API Integration? for non-technical people

Realistically, you’ll be looking at stoppages as apps de-sync, lead data gets lost or duplicated, and you experience all those other issues you’ve come to expect. Trying to get your data to sync up usually requires error-prone manual work, jury-rigged workarounds, or filing a ticket for IT support. As someone who works in revenue, marketing, or operations, you may have been hearing an awful lot about API integrations lately, and how they’re becoming more important to what you do. It makes a remote program appear to be local by making use of RPCs (Remote Procedural Calls). An API is an interface for two computers to communicate in order to carry out tasks on the internet.

What is an API Integration

So in the weather example, the bureau’s weather database is the server, and the mobile app is the client. We see this used all the time for integrations – because data schemas in separate systems are almost always different. Data mapping allows us to take a data element from the source system, such as account_number, and map it to a data element with a non-matching name in the receiving system, such as acctno. An API connector is the functionality needed to connect an integration to an API. API connectors are generally built to run on an enterprise iPaaS or embedded iPaaS (more later on these tools that help you build integrations more easily, without writing code from scratch). However, even one-off integrations that are coded from scratch and don’t run on an enterprise iPaaS or embedded iPaaS have code equivalent to the API connector.

What are the 4 types of API?

Executives should take care to include the perspectives of stakeholders across the organization to learn which platform features to prioritize in order to best realize the benefits of API integration. API integration is critical to businesses operating in the digital economy. Customer expectations have changed, and enterprises are constantly in need of improving their customer journeys while at the same time exploring ways to reduce operational redundancies and expand their revenue streams. An application programming interface can be synchronous or asynchronous. An API Gateway is an API management tool for enterprise clients that use a broad range of back-end services. API gateways typically handle common tasks like user authentication, statistics, and rate management that are applicable across all API calls.

What is an API Integration

APIs have grown massively in popularity — more than 24,000 are in use in the wild. Other types include internal APIs that are hidden from external users and that are used within a company only. The application can be any software that performs a specific task and the interface is a point where two applications communicate. One of the most efficient and effective ways to improve communication in 2023 is through B2B integration. And while there are plenty of B2B integration platforms and solutions on the market, a large majority of them fall short in one key area — giving you control.


The process of connecting two or more software applications or processes using APIs is referred to as API integration. This allows the systems to exchange data and functionality, allowing them to work in unison. APIs are a collection of protocols, routines, and tools used to create software and applications. APIs allow for communication between different applications specifying how the software components should interact with each other.

Apart from that, REST APIs work directly from an HTTP URL instead of relying on extensible markup language (XML). They can also operate via intermediate systems, like API gateways and load balancers. Learn what CRUD is in software and web development, plus how it works with relational databases, REST API’s, SQL, and more. RapidAPI is the world’s largest API Hub with over 4 Million
developers and 35,000 APIs. API integration allows the transfer of complex and voluminous data with reduced errors and inadequacies.

Creating more scalable systems

HTTP methods (or HTTP verbs) are the specific commands that an API data integration can use to interact with an API that uses HTTP or HTTPS as the transfer protocol. As with the other things we discuss in this section, the API defines acceptable HTTP methods. Some integrations don’t use APIs but may instead work with a file on a file share or something else. However, API integrations are the most common integration pattern we see used, partly because APIs make building integrations far simpler than would otherwise be the case. Microservices architecture has become more prevalent with the rise of cloud computing, and, together with containers and Kubernetes, is foundational to cloud native application development.

What is an API Integration

APIs are being used to integrate delivery management systems with other logistics systems. This allows logistics companies to optimize delivery routes, track inventory, and manage warehouse operations more efficiently. Ideally, your automated API integrations should look something like this screenshot from the Cleo Integration Cloud platform. In the interaction below, you can see Shopify eCommerce data on the lefthand side being automatically converted and connected to be ingested into the Netsuite ERP on the righthand side. We all know time is money, and when companies cling to outdated, manual processes they can’t help but fall behind financially in today’s digital economy.

Build the API

APIs often define the protocols which must be used, restrict the data which can be accessed or the queries that can be submitted, and use authentication to ensure that only valid users gain access. Of course, APIs remain a significant part of the technology stack. Legacy systems will stick around for a long time yet; we’re unlikely to see the day when API integration isn’t a core part of systems architecture.

  • You and your team have challenges and use cases that are unique to you.
  • API integration is what opens a channel that enables our companies to, quite literally, conduct business faster and more accurately.
  • And, when Apple improves the camera API, all the apps that rely on it will take advantage of that improvement automatically.
  • If the API grants access to valuable digital assets, the business monetize it by selling access.
  • Marketplaces tend to have stringent guidelines since they deal with third-party sellers, so using API-based integration provides greater customization so companies can meet evolving marketplace requirements.

This string is an API key the website uses to make internal API calls. These are internal to an enterprise and only used for connecting systems and data within the business. If you want to see how Prismatic’s embedded iPaaS can help your team (devs and non-devs alike) build reusable, productized API integrations for your customers, schedule a demo, and we’ll make it happen. We’ve talked mainly about the input side of the integration (database to API, API to integration, and what happens with the API connector and other pieces inside the integration). The integration uses the API connector to talk with the API, which is either receiving or sending data in response. This is far from an exhaustive list of possible data operations, but it includes several things common to API integrations.

What is the cost of building an API integration?

This will unfortunately involve manual coding, unless you opt for an Integration as a Service (IaaS) provider or an API integration platform. There are other API integration tools available to help through the API integration process. API integration helps enterprises break down stringent data silos, streamline their systems and processes, and help key data information flow across the business. All api ai integration with database of this makes their entire operation more efficient and allows them to cut out excessive redundancies. Depending on the types of APIs being created, APIs can help enterprises locate additional sources of revenue. By understanding the needs of their customers, they can develop APIs that integrate with their current systems and help them solve specific problems, using that to monetize their API.

In effect, these API protocols facilitate standardized information exchange. The cost of building a single API integration can easily set you back $10,000+, depending on the complexity of the integration and the time investment of your developers. Using pre-built integration and automation tools, however, can cut your costs significantly and save your developers countless hours of work. There are many ways to integrate APIs, so it’s important for developers to consider their options and needs before devising and executing a plan. One popular approach is to use a library or SDK (software development kit) for the API you’d like to integrate. SDKs provide pre-written, reusable code snippets for authentication, request handling, and response parsing, which simplifies the integration process.

Improving organizational security and governance

This same principle is used on modern mobile operating systems like iOS and Android, where mobile apps have permissions that can be enforced by controlling access to APIs. For example, if a developer tries to access the camera via the camera API, you can deny the permission request and the app has no way of accessing your device’s camera. The use of API integration allows you to have end-to-end visibility of your systems and processes for improved communication and reporting. With a streamlined system, you can track and monitor data effectively, thereby creating robust reports that are based on thorough and comprehensive datasets.

Test the API

Using existing APIs adds functionality and simplifies complex coding. APIs boost application effectiveness, conserve resources and reduce development costs. APIs can be consumed by enterprises to automate business processes that span multiple clouds and on-premises systems within and outside their firewall at any latency. This can help cut down on the time users spend manually clicking in and out of different applications. For example, the company Stripe began as an API with just seven lines of code. The company has since partnered with many of the biggest enterprises in the world, diversified to offer loans and corporate cards, and was recently valued at USD 36 billion (link resides outside ibm.com).

Public API implications

This entails developing a new API that allows data and functionality to be exchanged between systems or services. These integrations can be built in a variety of programming languages, such as Python(Build a REST API using Flask) or JavaScript (REST API in Node.js), and can be tailored to specific needs and constraints. Integration platforms also referred to as iPaaS (integration platform as a service), offer a centralized environment for developing, deploying, and managing integrations.

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