When looking for software to meet the needs of your business, you don’t need to build the software all yourself or turn to a single software provider for everything. You can get customized functionality combined with the lower cost of mass-produced software by using application program interfaces (APIs) to connect software components. APIs are collections of prewritten routines and tools for building software applications.
APIs are designed to communicate with other routines, and that can make it easier to develop a program.
You’ve seen how APIs function every time that you log into a website that allows you to log in using your Facebook credentials. That website has used a Facebook API to get the credentials from Facebook. This saves the website from having to develop a separate credentials component, and it saves you from having to remember an additional username and password.
Because APIs are ready-made, you can use them without having to invest the development time and expense of writing code from scratch. By using APIs, you can address individual problems with the best possible tools at a significant savings.
You should embrace APIs or you might find your company falling behind. I run a software company, and we use APIs to keep our costs down. Our flagship product, DataTrax, is a significantly smaller system than it used to be. DataTrax used to contain a sales tax calculation component that we built and maintained in house. When tax codes changed, our developers updated the program. We had to take a hard look at our system and ask ourselves, “Are we a sales tax company or are we a MLM software company?” We found that AvaTax had the expertise in sales tax, and partnered with them. This allowed us to give our customers accurate sales tax calculations that were always up to date while focusing our resources on ourcore specialties like commission calculations. We were able to easily integrate with AvaTax by using APIs.
By using APIs and partnering with the right vendors, you can keep ahead of the technology curve without spending a significant amount of overhead building custom software.