Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) have become the standard tool for achieving quick and smooth communication between software programs. Today they are being used to get applications, data and devices talking to each other. But what should you be using APIs for? And why is it important to develop an API strategy?
Businesses connecting different systems is nothing new, but APIs makes doing this a whole lot simpler. The application that offers an API defines how data comes in and goes out of the application, so all you have to do is connect.
Access data securely with an API strategy
IT infrastructure just keeps getting more advanced, and that is also making it easier for systems to access and use each other’s data. But for that you need APIs. APIs are the way for your business to connect data sets and discover new connections.
Smart businesses know that data is the new gold, but success in the data game depends on getting data to where it needs to be securely. By thinking ahead about who needs to get what data, and how much of it, you can keep control over your applications. But why would you want to be sharing data with third parties?
3 reasons to share data using APIs
1. Maintain your control over your data
If you’re finding that data is being screen-scraped from your website, it’s time for an API. An API will let you decide exactly who gets what data, make sure the right data is getting shared, and enable you to intervene in the data-sharing process if you need to. Whether it’s data from transport companies, webshops, price comparison engines, or just about anywhere else – an API is what you need.
2. Generating sales in other market segments
Opening access to your data for third parties can enable these parties to sell your products and services. Take the example of concert tickets: the organizer makes it possible for multiple ticket sellers to sell tickets to the same concert. But the same technology can put your products in the webshops of multiple online retailers. With an API connection, data like inventory figures and prices are linked directly, and so they are automatically updated in the online stores.
3. More transparency into data use and consumer behavior
With APIs you know who has access to your data, so you can develop the right data strategy for you. If you see that certain products or services are being viewed a lot, you can act accordingly.