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Application Programming Interfaces

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.

API Integration

The term API integration as a service is fairly new. It is a secure and reliable solution that allows you to connect applications across various web services and organizations. It also allows you to deploy integrations without the need to install new software and hardware, or create a custom code. Many technological trends are driving the rise of API integration as a service. Here are three of them:

  • The Cloud. The cloud has already replaced the computer and other physical storage systems in keeping personal content. We can now access services and our personal preferences from this technology – making it the center of our digital lives.
  • Internet of Things. Basically, the Internet of Things (IoT) is connecting any device with an on/off switch to the Internet. It is a giant network of connected things – such as cellphones, wearable devices and almost anything you can think of.
  • Big Data. Big Data is now moving from a personal aspect to an enterprise level. Many organization are already abandoning the idea of a single enterprise data warehouse that contains all information. They are moving towards multiple systems.

The advances in technology are generating, sharing and storing enormous amounts of data across various types of organizations and applications. Data is becoming more disconnected between cloud applications and the website. Here’s when an integration solution becomes a business saver.

Several companies offer API integration as a service, including APIworx. APIworx creates high quality API integration across your internal and external systems to get the best results. Our customized API solutions and integrations provide you with real-time advantage and integration between traditionally disparate unintegrated systems. Designed as a global company, we have cloud-based employees from various locations around the world.

Here are three reasons why you should get API integration as a service from APIworx:

  • Superior customer care. At APIworx, we understand that APIs are your new business. That’s why we are here to expose your systems, make them available and support them like any mission critical system.
  • Direct connection. We directly and securely connect to your internal systems and your cloud systems, so we can provide you with a seamless API-based workflow across your extended application ecosystem.
  • Cloud-based and infinitely scalable. APIworx applications leverage the best technology of the world’s largest cloud infrastructures. We deliver unlimited scalability, uptime and low cost.

With APIworx, you don’t have to deal with software or hardware. You don’t need programming or any technical skills to use the service. We’ll do it all for you. We have pre-built integrations to the best systems and a wide selection of online service providers. Our solutions automate various types of repetitive business and social tasks. Learn more about us here.

APIs

Integrating useful APIs in your website helps you get valuable data, share it with your consumers and be informed with important events. It also improves user experience. In the new world, your APIs are your business. Exposing your systems and making them available in the most secure way is what you need. APIs allow you to do almost anything that you can imagine online. And, there are hundreds of them to choose from. Some are better than others, and some are definitely more useful.

  • Facebook. Facebook APIs are great time savers. They allow you to sign in to many applications and websites using your Facebook ID. They also allow your app to read and write data to Facebook. Other offers lets you work with Credits, Ads, Chat and other legacy APIs that are no longer actively supported.
  • Twitter. Following Facebook afterward, Twitter APIs and social media campaigns are also intertwined into its business model. They allow you to create applications that interact virtually with any Twitter feature.
  • YouTube. YouTube has 2 APIs available – Player and Data. The former allows you to have an embedded player that you can customize within Flash or HTML. The latter lets your application perform operations available in YouTube, such as uploading videos.
  • PayPal. Operating a worldwide online payment system, PayPal API allows you to easily and securely accept mobile and online payments. It enables your customers to make PayPal and credit card payments in just a few clicks.
  • QuickBooks. QuickBooks API makes your customers’ lives easier. It helps connect and integrate QuickBooks data with other business applications easily and quickly.
  • MailChimp. MailChimp allows you to send millions of emails every day without hassle. Easily sync your data, import content from various sources and keep track of your revenue in just a few clicks. It is the ideal API integration for data-driven emails, such as targeted e-commerce and personalized messages.
  • FedEx. Take advantage of the peace of mind associated with successful transport. Use FedEx API shipping integration to locate the best rates, track shipments and estimate transit time. You can also save time by automating processes like exchanging information between sources.  

Do you need integration with these applications? We’ve got your back. APIworx offers direct, cloud-based integration and API solutions for these applications tailored to your needs. We handle all the tasks involved in accepting and processing up to hundreds of thousands of API calls. We integrate tightly with your systems, so you can run APIs without servers. We also create REST APIs that you can use to call publicly available services through your system’s available API. To check out more of our integrations, click here.

cloud APIs

The Cloud has become an important part of various industries in recent years and in the new world, your APIs are your business. That’s why finding ways to integrate applications and other workloads into the cloud using APIs is also paramount to success. However, there are four major Cloud APIs to choose from. Which is the right model for you and how can you operate an API to the cloud?

There are many ways to integrate into an infrastructure, and each has its own fundamental components.

  • PaaS APIs (Platform as a Service APIs) – These Cloud APIs are designed to give access and functionality for a cloud environment. They allow you to integrate with messaging systems, databases and storage components.
  • IaaS APIs (Infrastructure as a Service APIs) – These Cloud APIs help control specific cloud resources as well as their distribution. They can also be used in network configurations and workload management.
  • Cloud Provider & Cross-Platform APIs – For greater cloud versatility, providers offer generic HTTP and HTTPS integration. Cross-platform APIs provide access to resources from different cloud providers and platforms, saving you a lot of time and development energy.
  • SaaS APIs (Software as a Service APIs) – These Cloud APIs help connect the application layer with the cloud and underlying IT infrastructure. These application APIs create a cloud application extension for your environment.

Choosing the right platform is important for your organization. For your environment to function well, you may also need to use multiple platforms. Whatever you decide, make sure to plan the deployment carefully and that all elements can interoperate and perform compatibly.

APIworx build and manage customized API solutions and integrations, giving you real-time advantage and integration between unintegrated systems. We are dedicated to making cloud integration simple and easy for you. If you want to operate seamlessly in the cloud, use our managed API to manage your business across all your applications seamlessly. Check out a few of our integrations here.

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.

APIs

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 history

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.

API Integration

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.

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.

Selling APIs

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.