Application programming interfaces, or APIs, are complex and intimidating, but they’re essential to the modern workplace—especially if you’re running a business based on software or cloud-based platforms.
If you don’t know why you need APIs, this article will help explain what they are and why they matter in your work and life. Whether you’re a developer or just someone who uses cloud-based apps like Slack or G Suite every day, this article will help you understand why APIs make things like Slack possible in the first place.
1) Reduces Costs when Developing Projects
APIs reduce developers’ costs and time by making it easier to work with existing applications. For instance, APIs make it easy to develop a website compatible with Facebook, Instagram, etc.
2) Provide Better Integration With Data
Instead of requiring developers to retrieve entire databases or files to get a single item of information, a GraphQL content API requires developers to specify which content they want and how they want it structured.
According to Contentful, “The GraphQL Content API supports GET and POST methods.” This feature makes them useful for mobile applications or IoT devices that must access large data sets—like weather information. For example, if you used a GraphQL API to request climate-related content from an online map, you could specify that you wanted only temperature data and nothing else.
3) APIs Help Companies Connect
Establishments can use an API to open up a company’s data and tools to other companies and programs. For example, an airline might use an API to allow travel-booking websites access to its flight information. Likewise, a hotel chain might use an API to let customers of one of its hotels book rooms at another hotel in its chain.
4) Use Third-Party Tools
Tools such as Google Analytics and Mixpanel help make sense of large data sets to better understand what your customers want. To use them, you will need access to an API.
5) Get Feedback from Customers
Building a working product is only half of what it takes to build a successful business. When you’re ready, your next step is to reach out to customers and get their feedback on what you’ve built.
If you haven’t already, make sure to sign up for an early access program on your app store. Then, use every opportunity to get customer feedback.
6) Gain Access to Useful Information
APIs help businesses take advantage of a wide range of potentially useful information, from weather data to information about specific users. Businesses that integrate APIs into their systems gain access to information and services, giving them a competitive edge over those that don’t. This is especially true in an increasingly digital economy where data is power.
7) Reduce Development Time & Errors
By having a well-documented API in place, you can ensure that your developers have all of the tools they need to build apps quickly without making mistakes. The more efficiently you can develop new features and improve existing ones, the better off your business will be.
As you can see, APIs can be extremely useful to many businesses. Whether they provide access to data or services, they enable companies to work more efficiently.