Every techno-savvy person that you may speak to will swear by APIs. But, it’s impossible to understand the lingo, let alone know what APIs are and the various advantages it offers.
So, in this article, we’re going to try to help you figure out what APIs are. And, explain the way APIs are helping us in our everyday lives.
What are APIs?
To begin with, let me talk to you about APIs. It may sound very technical, but there’s nothing scary about APIs. And, you’re probably already using it without knowing anything about APIs.
API stands for Application Programming Interface. Yikes. What does that mean?
It’s a toolset that programmers use to create new software. And, it’s a software intermediary that allows two applications to communicate with each other.
At this point, perhaps an example would help you understand better. For example, Uber, which is a ride-sharing app, couldn’t have existed without the help of APIs.
So, Uber used APIs connections to Google Maps and Twilio to bring a company into existence. Customer needs a ride, they use the Uber app, that’s linked to Google Maps.
The rider gets the location of the customer, and the customer can also monitor the progress of the rider. It’s all quite beautifully synchronized and systematic. And, of course, Twilio makes the entire communications between rider and customer possible.
Other Real-Life Examples of API
Well, the Uber example might not be enough to give you a clear picture of what APIs are. It might seem like a complex thing to people that are completely unfamiliar with this subject. The first thing you should know is that businesses of all sizes can apply APIs for different operational situations. The three most common ones are – online payment systems, website analytics, and project and team management tools. Well, let’s now analyze one by one.
You know very well that almost every company that offers products and services is working online. Because of that, you can now buy almost every product with a couple of clicks. Logically, you can’t pay for that product in-person and the company needs to ensure a good online payment system. APIs support the process of digital money transfer. Many businesses decide on utilizing APIs from some companies like PayPal. In this way, they are sure that all the money transactions are safe.
When we talk about website analytics, Google Analytics is a good example of that. It is the part of Google Cloud API Platform. The business owners will have the chance to use different API options to make the proper analysis. We recommend you research the Internet and see which ones are the most common.
Finally, when we talk about team management, businesses use different tools to be more effective. There are some like Basecamp and Microsoft Team that improve the quality of communication between team members. Despite that, they also can use the opportunity of data sharing functionality. Guess what? All these things are possible thanks to APIs.
How do APIs help businesses?
There is probably a good reason why businesses around the world started to use this technology. The market is competitive more than ever before and different technologies can split your business from the mass of others. Let’s see together how.
New Business Opportunities
Now, the important thing to keep in mind is that almost all big companies are using APIs. These organizations such as Facebook or Yahoo! aren’t giving away access to the general public.
Rather, these companies are giving certain requirements or pieces of codes to help you connect one of your applications to theirs, and use it to create new business opportunities.
You need to understand that the market has higher demands than before. These demands came together with the development of modern technology. Every business in the world needs to modernize the way of functioning. If you plan to be successful, you need to respect their requirements and expectations.
The benefits that API brings to businesses is something they expect. When you modernize your business with this technology, the customers will consider you more professional. That will automatically positively influence your profit.
Helps Save Time
Using APIs allows businesses to focus on their own strengths. And, work in collaboration with the skill set of other companies to provide products and services to the consumers.
For example, you use Siri to find out about the weather. Siri is connected through APIs with Yahoo! Weather Site and Google Maps.
Hence, you ask Siri for the weather and you don’t end up with links to other sites that you would have to visit to find out about the weather.
So, now you know that it’s isn’t Siri that’s the hero, rather it’s those APIs you know nothing about, that have been helping you out all along.
Connect With Customers
Ever heard of Amazon, well, who hasn’t right? So, you order something there, and they’ll bring it to your doorstep.
In the meanwhile, you are able to monitor the progress of your order, read reviews about the product, and know about the dealer providing the product. You’ll get a chance to write in your reviews and complaints. And, this entire operation is possible thanks to APIs.
Every business owner knows that each system they use has to be improved or changed over time. Well, the businesses have to spend a lot of money and time to introduce those new changes. However, the entire process will be accomplished much easier thanks to APIs. Thanks to this technology, the users will have the chance to experience better data migration.
If you haven’t thanked your lucky stars for APIs, it isn’t too late now. Especially, since you are aware of the purpose and functions of APIs. And, if you want APIs to make your life easier too. You’ll thank us for this invaluable tip.
The most important thing is to get familiar with this technology better. The list of advantages that you previously read will probably motivate you to do that. However, the real motivation will come when you start using it. When those benefits turn into money, you will start asking yourself why didn’t you start using it before. However, there is no reason for that. As we said – it isn’t too late!