Standing for Application Programming Interface, it is likely that if you have run a business, you have come across one API or another, even if you have never heard of the term. Referring to a specific part of technology that allows different applications to speak to one another, APIs allow for a smooth workflow between different platforms.
Whether you are using them and are aware of them already, or are new to the topic completely, read on for five ways that APIs, touted as the next big development, can transform your business.
Sophisticated Search Engines
APIs work constantly to make searching for information online a much more seamless process. Sites such as Google use APIs to index data, which means finding relevant information from databases, configuring search queries and analyzing data to find the best possible results as opposed to simply just scraping the entire internet for relevant keywords. Additionally, custom search engines found within sites are usually an API provided by another page that allows for integration. If you are looking for an API that can help you to source parts for your business, then your best bet is looking at the services courtesy of Octopart API pricing, which gives you information from over 100 distributors and 4000 different manufactures.
Social Media Sites
For your social media strategy, you are probably not posting individually on each platform, but using a third-party service that can co-ordinate all of those different posts. These are usually implemented through an API service that allows you to speak to all these different sites. Additionally, if you see a social media post button on a website, that allows you to click and tweet or post something, this is also used via an API.
Online Payment Tools
The integration of payment on a website is achieved through the power of an API. When you make a purchase, whether it is through MasterCard or PayPal, an API allows the payment processor to make the communication with a website. These APIs make it easier than ever now to also receive money through a payment button on a website.
Project Management Systems
Businesses need project management systems in order to achieve quick and easy sharing of data. These use APIs to allow data-sharing to function; for example, if you are converting data from another management tool or attaching PDF files, APIs are used to make this data sharing become a reality in a fast and efficient fashion.
Website analytics are a crucial tool for analyzing the traffic on your website and seeing how long people are spending on different pages. They are integrated onto websites through an API, allowing these different parts to speak to one another. What is amazing about the growing sophistication of the technology is the way that it allows you to see users on your site in real time.
As you can see, APIs have become a crucial part of how we do business online, with their popularity likely to rise in the future. If you have not used these APIs already, it makes sense to integrate all of them to make your business a success.