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The Business Benefits of Using APIs to Integrate Services

APIsOne item that’s been top of mind for app developers is application-programming interfaces – more commonly known as APIs – which are becoming a forefront issue for many companies that provide their clients with web-based services.  Whether your company wants to make data available to clients or provides a service for clients’ mobile apps, having APIs can be crucial to achieving customer satisfaction and maintaining a competitive advantage.

First, let’s recap what APIs are.  Simply put, APIs are guidelines that allow software to communicate with other web-based software applications and tools.  API applies to software-to-software interactions, so this communication happens on the back-end instead of directly with the user.  Companies that offer services or make data or applications available via an API set the rules and standards that govern their API.  Then developers, architects and engineers who want to integrate those particular programs into their own products or apps can utilize those guidelines and protocols to design the software.

What are some every day examples of APIs?  When you watch Netflix on your tablet, for example, an API is at work.  When using Netflix’s proprietary API, your tablet is able to communicate with Netflix’s systems and databases in order to stream your video.  Using Paypal to purchase movie tickets on a mobile app is another example.  The app, which uses Paypal’s API, communicates with their systems to deduct money from your bank account or charge your credit card and complete the transaction.

APIs are everywhere in modern life, facilitating many services we use on our mobile devices, laptops and tablets.  Once an API is in place, developers generally have more of an incentive to use the service because it’s typically easier to integrate into their own product than a service without an API.  An API is intended to help make the interaction between the provider and consumer more efficient and user-friendly.

Below are instances where having or creating an API could be beneficial for businesses:

  • Creating a mobile app
  • Responding to customer requests for an API
  • Making data available
  • Keeping up with competitors that utilize APIs
  • Integrating with vendors or other third party providers in a more efficient manner
  • Letting potential vendors and other third party providers test the web-based services

APIs are changing the way many companies conduct business.  Look for ADP to have an evolving role in how companies use APIs to integrate services.
 
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The information provided in this blog post is for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing accounting, legal, or tax advice.  The information and services ADP provides should not be deemed a substitute for the advice of any such professional.  Such information is by nature subject to revision and may not be the most current information available.


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