You’re using an API most of the time that you’re online without even realizing it! If you’re sending an email, online shopping, or accessing your bank online – more than likely this is all being done via API’s.
There are different types of APIs and when we talk about APIs for business system integrations, we specifically refer to web APIs. These web APIs are utilized throughout the day, often without our awareness.
For instance, when you click on the link to access on online store’s shop, your internet browser initiated a request to the computer server hosting the online store. In this scenario, the browser acts as the client making the request, while the API gateway serves as the entry point to the server for that particular request.
Upon passing through the API gateway, the server is searched for the requested information, and a response is sent back. This process is commonly encountered when sending emails, streaming movies, or shopping online.
Unlike simply clicking on a link to access a website, integrations involve requesting specific data tailored to your business needs. To appropriately request data from an application, it is essential to have a better understanding of its API. Most applications provide API documentation on their websites.
Here are a few examples:
- Shopify Admin API (opens in a new tab)
- Salesforce APIs and Integration (opens in a new tab)
- HubSpot API Docs
APIs provide guidelines on how data requests should be submitted and formatted, known as protocols. These protocols aid client applications in processing and comprehending the data returned by the server. When creating integrations, it is crucial to utilize the correct API protocols for each application; otherwise, it would be akin to asking someone a question in French when they only understand English
To understand integrations, you need to know how APIs work.
APIs employ various methods to request data from a server, particularly those that utilize the Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) for submitting data requests. HTTP is commonly used for web APIs. Here are some of the most popular methods:
When a computer attempts to connect to an application’s server, it sends a data request formatted in a way that the server can understand and respond to. The format or communication protocol used is determined by the application’s API
Using Platforms For Integration
Today there are several platforms that exist to help make API integrations easy to integrate. Take the Celigo platform as an example, it provides convenient solutions for API integration, simplifying the process and enabling businesses to connect different applications and systems seamlessly.
These platforms offer user-friendly interfaces and drag-and-drop tools, allowing non-technical users to create integrations without extensive coding knowledge. The platform offers pre-built connectors that reduce the amount of information required about an application’s API.
However, understanding the basics of integration creation is still important. This knowledge becomes particularly valuable if you encounter issues with an integration or desire additional customization.
Do you really need an API developer or can you integrate systems yourself?
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Overall, API developers brings specialized skills and expertise to handle complex integration scenarios, customization, advanced troubleshooting, and optimization. They play a crucial role in ensuring the success and longevity of your integration initiatives.
Stay tuned for more…
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