APIWORX Partners with OROCommerce to Provide Cloud Integration

OROCommerce has announced it’s newest technology partner.  APIWORX for Advanced Cloud Integration Needs!

For nearly a decade, APIWorx has been building, operating, and supporting custom API and direct cloud integrations at any scale. In 2016 they have expanded globally to support complex package integrations for mid-market and upper mid-market organizations.

As a highly experienced integrator and API-as-a-service provider, APIWorx can create tailor-made APIs to enable applications to access data, business logic, and functionality from any customer backend system including CRM, ERP, accounting or marketing solutions, and similar. APIWorx has successfully implemented integrations for Zendesk, Google Analytics, Tableau, Amazon AWS, PayPal, MailChimp, UPS, Microsoft Dynamics, Oracle, Akeneo and many others.

As OroCommerce’s Technology partner, APIWorx will be providing fully managed integration capabilities for Oro installations and act as a one-stop-shop for OroCommerce integrations.

For our customers, APIWorx can create REST APIs that can be used by mobile and web applications to call publicly available services through the already existing system APIs.

APIWorx sees many common workflows with OroCommerce, which will ensure even more seamless workflows between cloud and on-premise apps. And because OroCommerce entered a huge upside market, APIWorx is pleased to join us in that growth.

‘OroCommerce is clearly positioned as a leader in the growing B2B eCommerce market, we’re thrilled to partner with them. Our integration platform will provide seamless integration services to over 100 other applications immediately’ claimed Mike Grabert, the company’s CTO.

By building and deploying customized API integrations and delivering them as a service, APIWorx enables companies to easily connect Oro and hundreds of other applications. We believe this will help any company looking to leverage managed API connectivity streamline their business operations and enhance performance.

8 Facts about Selling APIs that You Should Know

For many businesses, an effective API program is mission critical. Its inherent value to the user and internal business processes is undeniable. With the API industry growing so fast, selling your APIs can be your new business model. They are not only a digital advantage but can also be a great source of revenue. Here are a few things you should know about selling APIs:

  • +25 Million Developers. Did you know that there are over 25 million developers in the world? They have a lot of decision power and money, too.
  • 3 New Positions. A few years ago, these three positions didn’t exist in the job sector: API Engineer, API Evangelist and API Business Development.
  • Employment. Today, thousands of employees work in the API market. AWS alone has 600 open positions.
  • eBay. Who started all this? Yes, it’s eBay in 2001. Now, over 60% of all listings in the website are added via their APIs.
  • API Start-up. The first well-known API start-up was Twilio Cloud Communications in 2008 with pay-as-you-go pricing and volume pricing for all models. Calls are charged 1 to 2 cents, while messages are charged 3 cents.
  • Facebook API. Did you know that the Facebook API is for free? Yes, the website takes a cut of in-app payments such as Farmville coins.
  • API as the Product. API became THE product in 2006 as started by Amazon web services. Seven years later, a number of companies offered the same.
  • Revenue. APIs potential is huge. Direct and indirect revenues per year could reach over 10 billion dollars.

APIs play a great role in improving your business model. They offer a whole lot of advantages for any kind of company. They are highly beneficial to developers as well, allowing them to communicate with stockholders to update agency systems. But, before you dive into your pricing page and start selling your APIs, consider these questions:

  1. Am I solving a difficult developer problem?
  2. Can I charge money for this value?
  3. Will my team be able to communicate with developers?

Make sure you can solve a difficult problem, provide enough value and have a team who can handle unique communication requirements before you jump into selling APIs. Learn more about API integration here.

The World without APIs

What if APIs (Application Programming Interface) don’t exist? They have been such a huge part of modern technological development and disruption that it’s hard to imagine the world without them. We would be left with isolated data and applications that can’t communicate. APIs hold systems together. Without APIs, the technologies we rely on won’t work.

Here’s a quick view of how the world will be without APIs:

  • No social media on Smartphones. True to many people, when they wake up in the morning, they check their Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. None of these social networking sites will work without APIs. There will be no #IWokeUpLikeThis posts. In fact, Smartphones will not be that “smart” without the digital glue of APIs.
  • No weather information. The weather application from your Smartphones needs to get information from a source. While Samsung and Apple can just scrape it off from a weather website, APIs have a more standardized approach. Without APIs, you won’t be able to choose the right #OOTD and Google can’t update you on traffic if you want to travel.
  • No instant messaging. One of the best perks of today’s technology is easy and fast communication. We no longer need to send snail mails and wait weeks to months for them to arrive. Phone, email and SMS send our messages in real-time so we can respond and get response immediately.
  • No YouTube and Netflix. You’ll have to rely on video entertainment given by your local cable provider. There will be no cooking how-to and make up tutorials you can watch to sharpen your skills.
  • No online bookings. Another great thing about APIs that won’t be possible is online bookings. You can’t pre-book your flight and movie to make sure you have a seat. You’d have to go and interact with a human being to get your tickets.
  • No online banking. You can’t access your banking information online anymore. You need to visit a branch of your bank to get the details you need. You need to go to an ATM, withdraw and transfer funds – assuming that its back-ends are API-free.
  • No shopping online. Without APIs, you can’t shop at home. You need to look at physical catalogues and visit a physical store to buy the things you want and need. Coupons won’t be available online, too. They will be sent via post and you’d have to carry them with you to get a discount.

Many systems will fall down if the world is without APIs. Companies and individuals everywhere leverage API for their personal and business purposes. Without them, services, activities and processes around the world will grind to a halt. APIs are so integral to the way our society and technology has evolved that businesses cannot afford to ignore them. Click here to know how we can help you with your API strategy.

API History: What Is It And Where It’s From

Much of the changes that take place in the world of software hinges on APIs (Application Programming Interfaces). They have been a hot topic among developers, but only a few people are acquainted on what they are and where they’re from. Although, we interact with APIs every day, many still underestimate its impact on web applications. Here’s a brief API history to better understand their uses.

First, let us define the word API. An API is software programming written to bridge the communication between web applications. It pulls or shares data within the firewall of a company or over the internet. To put it simply, it makes services accessible to outside developers so they can build those services into their own programs.

The earliest uses of APIs were associated with three origin stories:

  • Franchises attempting to use their services in various locations
  • Stock market machines ticking out real-time data for media and investment firms
  • Catalogue-based mail order shopping

Whichever, the bottom-line is it was the entrepreneurial spirit of the people who struggled on using their company’s underlying services in new and profitable ways that drove the development of APIs.

Web APIs, on the other hand, have a fairly short API history. They have only been in use for over a decade. These companies have pioneered them:

  • Salesforce
  • eBay
  • Flickr
  • Amazon
  • Facebook
  • Google Maps

Perhaps, the most popular web API is Google Maps. While many are more likely to use Amazon and Facebook, Google Maps is adapted to site-specific purposes around the Web. In fact, it is the first to widely demonstrate the power of “API mash-ups” – using content from more than one source. Thanks to these mash-ups, you are able to see which bands are playing in what location, track your running routes and highlight hiking trails near your home.

But, the API history did not start with Google Maps. Its popularity is what made the wheel turn. Many developers hacked their code for use on other sites and forced the application to release an API that the former can use without the need to hack. That API and others are what changed the face of the Internet – forever. Click here for more blogs about APIs.

APIs: What to Consider when Pricing Them

APIs started just as an acronym that only programmers know in the 2000s. Now, they have become an important piece to ignite several innovative solutions. They unleashed a number of opportunities in various services to help them function more efficiently.

Using APIs is easy, but many don’t understand what it takes to make it useful. People are too focused on the technology part that they overlook the use cases for which they can add value to their businesses: representing a way to reduce operational costs and automating business processes completely.

But, how do you make money from APIs and how should you price them to get the best return? There are three ways to monetize APIs:

  • Data Collection. This is Facebook’s preferred method. It involves collecting of data from third party applications to use in your advertising efforts or your own products.
  • Product Adoption. It allows developers to build custom integrations that increase the value of products and keep the users locked-in.
  • Developer Usage. This is the most obvious way to monetize APIs. You simply charge developers for API calls.

The Developer Usage model has three pricing models, so you need to think carefully and choose wisely. The first models is Pay-as-you-Go, which simply means that you pay per API call. Fixed quota means you pay for a fixed number of calls per month and you are not allowed to exceed. Lastly, the Overage model is like the previous model. However, it allows developers to exceed their call limit in exchange for a small overage fee.

Each pricing model has its own pros and cons, but the last one may be the best option for you. It has the scaling advantages of the pay-as-you-go model and offers the predictability of the fixed quota plan.

Of course, how much you should charge per plan depends on your business. Just consider these three C’s when pricing:

  • Cost
  • Competitors
  • Content

On pricing your APIs, determine what type of value they can deliver and your actual pricing structure. Determine how much the access is worth in conjunction with your existing web-based offering and competition, then choose the pricing model that your customers will ultimately be comfortable paying. Find out how we can help here.

API Integration Challenges that Businesses Need to Overcome

The influx of software applications and the rising demand for customized products and services call for an unobstructed flow of data. APIs serve as a medium to exchange information between systems and applications. Due to the migration of business services to the cloud, API integration is gaining momentum. Instead of having internal IT server and staff, APIs stitch together applications available in the internet for quicker time to market and reduced costs.

While APIs transfer data between devices and the cloud, the data is protected by HTTPS while in transit. The data resting on the client or server is also encrypted. Another way to reduce the possibilities of data breach is developer registration. API keys, unique to every developer, are used to keep track of the devices using the APIs. Random tokens that expire after a given time are also a great way to ensure security.

Developers find REST (Representational State Transfer) APIs as more agile. Many cloud service providers prefer them because they provide lightweight communication between producers and customers. However, they also come with a set of disadvantages. A number of security concerns arise due to the lesser overall consistency in app updates. An effective way to secure REST is through network standards that assign IP addresses in which components are deployed.

Another API integration challenge is testing as it can be extremely difficult if performed by conventional methods. The implementation can collide with cloud resource mapping. The successful testing of APIs in the cloud is based on “abstraction”, a technique that exposes the features without exposing the implementation. By including component scaling and resource allocation features, it enables a test plan to include cloud-related elements without disturbing the cloud quality of the experience.

REST APIs are scaling high in their implementation by assisting convenient integration and possessing resilience and scalability in cloud applications. They are an affordable and powerful way to use pre-existing applications in the cloud to drive your business.

At APIworx, we make API integration simple and easy. We help automate, optimize and secure your technology driven-processes by making APIs that are easy to setup and maintain. Click here to learn more about our API integration solutions.

API Management Platform: Main Features to Look for

API management platform offers you a range of tools that could help you achieve business success. They are a great way to improve the development and management of your APIs with minimal overhead. However, there are a number of vendors out there that offer various platforms. That’s why you need to know the main features to look for to make the right decision.

Here are some questions you need to ask before you purchase an API management platform:

  • Which platform should you go for: On-premise or Cloud?
  • How large is the support infrastructure?
  • What method of documentation is used?
  • How much does it cost?
  • Should you go for a unified platform or multiple platforms?

Do you have a solution in place for API management? Some of the important areas where individual tools exist include scalability, documentation, testing and security. Although using multiple tools require less commitment than a unified platform, they may lack integration – making it more difficult for employees to access them.

When considering to purchase an API management platform, here are the main features you need to consider:

  • User Support. Stay away from platforms with a history of poor support. User support is crucial to the success of your enterprise. This is the problem with on-premise solutions. When something goes wrong, your developer productivity could face drastic consequences since your engineering team’s hands are full. By leveraging the cloud, you can increase accessibility while achieving a seamless workflow.
  • Usability. One of the biggest advantages of using the right API management platform is usability. You need to be aware of these areas: metrics, documentation, design and customer support. API management platforms that provide metrics can help reduce strain. Documentation and design allow you to update easily without changing the structure of the back-end. Lastly, empowering your customer service team reduces sprint creep and frees up engineering resources.
  • Implementation. The type of implementation is perhaps the most important decisions you should make before purchasing an API management platform. It determines how API manages authentication methods, automates changes in infrastructures and deals with traffic spikes. The three methods of implementation are: on-site, off-site and hybrid.

With this information in mind, you should be able to make the right purchasing decision. Choose an API vendor that offers a product that best suits the needs of your organization. Learn more about APIs here.     

REST API: Is It a Winning API Strategy?

REST API stands for Representational State Transfer Application Program Interface, and relies on stateless, client-server and cacheable communications protocol. As an architecture style for designing networked applications, it uses a simple HTTP protocol to make calls between machines. Today, there are no applications or projects without REST API. The World Wide Web itself can be viewed as a rest-based design since it is based on HTTP.

REST API Features:

  • Stateless Client/Server Protocol. This means the client/server do not need to remember any previous state to satisfy it because each HTTP contains all necessary information. The client can run the same response to the same HTTP requests in the future.
  • Data transactions. There are four of them in any HTTP specification and REST system: POST (create), GET (read and consult), PUT (edit) and DELETE.

  • Manipulated from the URL. Objects in REST are manipulated from the URL, which is the sole identifier for each resource in the system. The URL allows access to information in order to edit or delete it, or share the exact location to third parties.
  • Uniform Interface. In order to transfer data, the REST system applies specific data transactions on the resources, making it easier to get a uniform interface that organizes the process with information.
  • Layer System. The REST API has a hierarchical architecture between components, wherein every layer has specific functions in the system.
  • Use of Hypermedia. An extension of hypertext, hypermedia an app development interface’s capacity to provide adequate links in order to run specific actions on data.

Is REST API a winning strategy? Here are three main advantages of using REST for development:

  • Separation between client and server
  • Dependency on type of platform or languages
  • Visibility, scalability, reliability

Separation from the server and data storage improves portability of interface to other types of platforms. It also increases visibility, scalability and reliability, making the apps more flexible to work with. Furthermore, it adapts to the syntax or platforms used. You can have PHP, Java, Node.js or Python servers.

Figuring out a winning API strategy is a great challenge for most companies. First, they need to develop the requirements to start building the actual software. Three or more teams are needed to develop a REST API project.

The modern enterprise needs hundreds to thousands of mobile applications, so the API building process goes on for over a few years with various contractors, consultants and developers. That’s why many companies are running hundreds of internal APIs that lack management, and are hard to discover and use by their partners, existing apps and internal developers. Click here to find out how cloud APIs can help.

The Future of Your Business Relies on Efficient API Integration

Recently, there has been an explosion of APIs. Whether you believe it or not, API integration has become an important part of application development and the future of your business may rely on it. APIs enable power. They create a more open and adaptive future for your business. They are the difference between small tweaks in your processes to real innovation. If you want to be more precise with data, innovate and deliver more efficient service, you need an efficient API integration.

  • APIs ensure governance. Customers expect consistency, and that’s what you should offer – consistency in your data models and management. For instance, you have multiple definitions of a customer. You risk alienating developers who expect a common definition. To prevent a disaster from happening in your hands, your staffs need follow a robust governance model.
  • APIs enable collaboration. Collaboration between people and technology is the key to the future of your business. Everything depends on data analytics and, by default, APIs help foster collaboration. With API integration, you don’t have to rewrite the application’s capability. You simply share its existing service, which is more practical.

Many business owners dismiss the benefits of API in their business. You don’t want to be one of them. Here are 5 ways efficient API integration can brighten the future of your company:

  1. Improving site loyalty and conversion rates
  2. Empowering lead generation with social insights
  3. Harnessing remote processing power for business intelligence
  4. Harnessing remote storage
  5. Developing lightweight mobile applications with power and functionality

Do you want to benefit from APIs without worrying about what they are and how they work? We can do that for you! APIworx build and manage customized API solutions and integrations, so you can operate seamlessly in the cloud. Check out a few of our integrations here. If your application isn’t listed, don’t worry! We can build and manage it for you using our cloud-based API framework.

Application Programming Interfaces: The Unsung Heroes of a Connected World

Enabling businesses to embed software capabilities of other platforms within their own websites and applications, APIs or Application Programming Interfaces have facilitated new business models across almost every industry. It allows companies to link to and customize existing platforms, resources and algorithms to create new services and gain new customers. Here are four ways that you can use APIs to your website or apps:

  1. API as the Product. An API becomes your main product when it is your primary source of revenue. It means it is not merely an extension of what you are offering. Two great examples are Skype and Amazon Web Services.
  2. API Projects the Product. Through this API integration, your partners, mobile applications and third parties can get to experience your product. Take for instance Spotify and eBay.
  3. API Promotes the Product. Application Programming Interfaces can also be used to advertise your product through various channels. It allows third parties to access data used to generate interest in your offering. Some examples include Vimeo, Netflix and Amazon.com.
  4. API Powers the Product. APIs can be used to power products by serving as a channel to get new value into the business. It continuously receives new content that makes up part of your service. Popular APIs for this include Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

Connected digital platforms improve our daily lives in many ways. Social media profiles are used to log on websites and applications and share activity data from Smart devices like Fitbit. APIs make all these possible, including powering third party payments while shopping online. Essentially, they deliver a request to the provider you are requesting from and bring back a response to you.

Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) offer a number of benefits, including:

  • Increased revenue
  • New partnerships
  • New business models
  • Improved time to market
  • New distribution channels
  • Access to new markets
  • Reduced costs
  • Improved control over resources
  • Competitiveness
  • Improved brand recognition
  • Distinguishable from competitors

How do Application Programming Interfaces work? Say you open up a weather application on your Smartphone. The apps need to get information from a source, right? Apple or Samsung could scrape off the data from a weather site, but APIs has a more standardized approach for requesting information. They are the heroes that fetch your weather information for you! Learn more about API integration here.