API Integration Complete Guide

API Integration Complete Guide

API (Application Programming Interface) is an integral part of any business that implements digitization principles in the modern world. In any case, you need to understand API integration principles to connect two or more applications for productive work. This article will define the API integration tools, benefits, and methods to achieve it.

Moreover, Cprime Studios focus on API integration cases lets us share the best practices and our experience in this topic. This guide will be helpful for non-technical people also, as understanding the basis of the integration process became necessary for everyone.

How to Understand what API Integration Is?

What is API Integration? First of all, we need to define what API is. API is a set of protocols and tools that ensure communication between different parts of the software. In other words, an API is an instrument to simplify app interaction. It is a connection between two or more software systems that ensure data exchange. API integration is necessary for businesses that work with more than one software solution (nowadays, almost everyone, regardless of industry type).

API integration services allow companies to automate many processes and share the data between applications and systems. This option is used by many services. An example of API integration examples is Tripadvisor, which uses the data from different apps to create a set of proposals for your travel. Moreover, website API integration improves service and information delivery and makes embedding the content from various sources much more effortless.

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How to Know That Your Company Requires API Integration Solution?

The E-commerce industry is the biggest user of API integration, but it does not mean that other businesses can skip this process. Let's discuss the most common reason for using API integration services to improve your organization's operations.

  1. To connect cloud apps. Probably, your company uses more than one cloud app daily. API integration is a standard for connecting cloud apps. First of all, some outdated services have problems supporting modern API, as they were built for on-premise integration. API integration is the best solution for cloud app connections.
  2. To create a new API quickly and easily. Usually, you should build it from scratch or use an available third-party one to create new APIs. It could have limited functionality or take a lot of time. It will be easier to use API integration via an Integration Platform as a Service (iPaaS). It allows you to create an API from existing integration with a few clicks.
  3. To get a specific value from the legacy data sources. In this case, API integration tools can help extract the data from the old servers and databases. This option opens specific databases for you because, in many companies, all the data that is not in use for more than a year is stored in some servers and not analyzed for insights.
  4. To increase productivity. It is massive support for the IT department to automate the integration process. It means that they will not spend a lot of time doing it manually. API platforms also allow non-technical team members to create and manage their own APIs.
  5. To make the app building process easy. The following reason to use API integration for your business is to simplify the creation process. You probably know that many startups run their apps without a big development team. It became possible with API. It allows couples to connect different techs or expose existing integrations as APIs or microservices.

How To Achieve API Integration

After you define that your company needs API Integration, let's discuss how it can be achieved. We use a few different techniques for integration, but it usually depends on your business goals which integration methods will work the best.

Custom API Integration

This type of integration involves a hand-written script from a software developer who has a deep understanding of the APIs you plan to integrate. It can be helpful in many cases, but at the same time, it takes a lot of time and can be more expensive than other techniques.

Connector Applications

This application ensures easy integration between two well-known platforms. It is an affordable solution that allows the rapid deployment of standard API solutions. Also, this method makes integration easier to maintain, and as a result, reduces the need for APIs management.

API Integration Platforms

This is the way to connect different SaaS applications and systems. It is a flexible method to integrate apps, as some platforms can transform the data into a form that your app can easily understand. IPaaS services allow combining multiple APIs for enterprise automation.

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Benefits of API Integration

In previous paragraphs, we briefly discuss how your company can improve its performance with API integration. At the same time, there are a set of benefits for each business with CRM API integrations:

  • Automation. API integration allows to move and connect the data between applications automatically. It saves time and reduces the possibility of errors in data handoff.
  • Communication and Reporting improvement. API integration ensures streamlined visibility of all the processes, and as a result, you can track and monitor the data more efficiently.
  • Scalability of business. With API integration, you will not need to start from scratch while creating connected systems and applications.
  • Fewer errors. Process automation reduces manual work, and as a result, you will also reduce the number of errors in data integrations.
  • Save the money. Another benefit of implementing API integration is reducing the cost of development. API allows getting most functionality for creating applications from other resources without starting everything from scratch.
  • Support innovations. It is a big step for organizations to try and implement innovative solutions in their businesses. It became easy to bring innovations with API integration, as organizations can implement cutting-edge technologies with fewer resources.
  • Amplify customer experience. Another benefit from using API integration is in improving communication with customers. For example, nowadays, customers want to get a personalized experience. API allows developers to create applications that meet specific customers' expectations.

How To Build API Integration?

The following substantial question is "How to build an API integration for your business?". To start building it from scratch, you need to understand all the processes in the applications you will connect. Cprime Studios has broad experience in API integrations, and we would recommend following the following framework for building this process:

  1. Delineate the scope of problems that the integration will solve. This is probably the most critical part of the process. You need to understand what goals you can achieve with the integration and how the end-user will interact with those apps.
  2. Establish additional resources you will need for integration. You need to understand at the very beginning what tools and processes you need to build the integration.
  3. Learn from the relationship between data. Think about the schema and how to ensure clean data transfer between systems. For this step, you need to outline all possible problems you can face during API integration.
  4. Create API integration testing. You need to be sure that your data transfer works clearly.
  5. Monitor the performance. It is not enough to run the integration. You also need to ensure its continued work.

How To Optimize Expenses on Cloud Solutions With API Integration: Case Study

As we mentioned already, Cprime Studios has vast experience building API integrations for different industries and businesses.

The company (NDA currently) came up with the idea that businesses often use various cloud services and pay too much, not knowing that it is possible to reduce the cost of a solution. For example, Jira customers pay for each active user, but in fact, you can not monitor how many active users you've got. There was a need to create a system for collecting such data and optimizing solution costs to help managers and customers solve the problem. It became possible with API integration.

We divided all the processes into a few primary stages:

  • POC stage with an important goal to minimize risks (technical, product, business). To achieve this stage, we use a transitional Workato system that already has a lot of connections to often used systems.
  • MVP stage, the very first working version of the application.
  • The full-scale web development phase should start when significant risks are eliminated or minimized, a technical solution is clearly defined, and the backlog is aligned.

This case is an API integration example for solving specific clients' problems and creating advanced solutions.

Final Thoughts

API integration software connects different applications and ensures the data transferring between them. This is the reason why various tech components can work together and pass data seamlessly. API integration is used in diverse industries and has become necessary for automating application workflow and reducing the number of errors during connection. And if you have other questions about your particular case, you can contact Cprime Studios for a detailed consultation.