What’s an API?
Here at 729 Solutions we spend a lot of time talking about APIs, but do you know what that means, what they are meant for, or why they are important? API stands for Application Programming Interface, which simply put is a set of clear definitions and methods for communicating with a particular system and building software.
Why are Application Programming Interfaces Important?
When you are building operating systems that need to speak to or work with other programs or apps, APIs are very important. The rules that are set up and imposed by an application’s API will directly affect how other systems integrate with it. They are used to create software libraries and frameworks of expected behavior. So when creating and building applications, APIs speed up and simplify programming by summarizing and showing the info a developer needs. In reality, there are many different ways to use and implement them.
Here at 729 Solutions we spend a lot of time helping our customers create custom systems integrations; for example, sometimes a company needs to be able to share their customer’s information between two different applications every time a change is made, like between Zendesk and an internal system, or maybe a company has a large amount of customer info to move from one app to another in a single migration, like when a company wants to move from one customer service system to Zendesk. APIs help to make these Zendesk connections possible; without them, it would be a much more strenuous and sometimes impossible process.
- Open/Public – There are no restrictions on this kind of API and rules can be accessed easily.
- Internal/Private – Refers to APIs that are used in house, often to communicate between different data sources.
- Partner – This is usually associated with situations where developers from an organization have permission to work directly with the API publisher.
- Web APIs – Web service APIs are specific to those attached to a web url and help you interact with a web server. SOAP, JSON, and REST are all examples of ways to create web APIs.
729 Solutions has a lot of experience helping organizations create custom integrations, migrations, and applications, and we wouldn’t be able to accomplish this work without the help of APIs. They contribute directly to the core of almost all software engineering projects.