To the non-tech minded business person it can be difficult running into some of the phrases and sayings that exist within the software solutions sector, and today we are going to seek to help you to understand a little more about a certain phrase which you may have heard, and that is integration API.
This is a phrase which is often heard when it comes to marketing and operations, and to those who do not know it must just sound like gibberish. The fact of the matter however is that is something which is very simple to understand, you just have to get past the jargon, let’s take a look.
What is an API?
Let us start off by taking a look at exactly what an API is, the thing which we are looking to integrate. API stands for application program interface, here is the wikipedia breakdown of what that means:
“a set of subroutine definitions, protocols, and tools for building application software. In general terms, it is a set of clearly defined methods of communication between various software components”
What this means in layman’s terms is that an API is a system which dictates how each piece of software interacts. A great way to describe this is that an API is like a restaurant waiter, the kitchen is the place where all of the action is going to happen and you are the one who is going to give the command, but how does that message get to the kitchen? Through the waiter, or API. Now let’s think about this in terms of booking a flight through a flight aggregator, you add all the information and then the aggregator uses the PI of each airline, to check for availability and price for what you have commanded. The API then sends all of this information back to the flight aggregator, to give you information. In the world of business, an API could be as simple as the range of applications which are offered from a software suite, such as an ERP. Essentially, an API is the messenger which allows us to create connectivity throughout the world.
Right… Now What is Integration
API integration is simply two or more applications which can be connected to each other and which can be used in conjunction with one another. Take something like Marketo and Salesforce, two great applications which are independent from one another, but which can be used together by businesses to allow easy transfer of data and metrics which can then be used to boost growth plans or marketing strategy. The integration of API is basically just your business syncing up the applications which it uses in order to provide you with more information or to simply make decisions on what application based on the metrics and the data which you are getting from another, increasing efficiency and success rates.
This is the bare bones of what API integration is and although it sounds complicated at first, the reality is much different .