What is API to API integration?


With our feet firmly planted in 2019, we have some idea about how rapidly the technological scene is moving. Innovation has never been higher, knowledge-sharing is never so wide-spread. For a second, if you were to imagine that the Internet is a container, it'll give you a picture of the kind of massive change that tech is going through. More apps are being developed than ever,  AI is more commonplace today with its many manifestations compared to five years ago, "online" is in the dictionary of almost every operating business. 

Statistics from varied sources also point at the rate the world is getting connected. The fintech industry, in its virtue of marrying finance with technology, is seeing a record amount of investments every year, across the world. According to Internet Live Stats, every second there are 40, 000 searches on Google. Going by KPMG, 55% of people prefer to go online and look at reviews before they decide to do a purchase. If NASDAQ is to be believed, by the time it is 2040, 95% of purchases will be made online. 

So you see how the environment is rife with newness and constantly evolving themes. An important aspect of this current context is API and how one API actually communicates with another API and gives us unique user-friendly experiences. 

So what is API?

An API is an application programming interface that makes it possible for devices, data, and applications within an organization to communicate. APIs are necessary for almost every tech scenario considering the number of elements coming together to work and create results. Take the example of a food app. The very fact that you're able to see a list of restaurants on the app, key in your information so that the delivery guy can reach you and finally get a delicious meal at your doorstep, means an API is at work. So, an API essentially reveals information about the primary product or service, but in a controlled environment with a focus on privacy. Put simply, an API reveals only that information, which is necessary to that specific context. 

What are the different kinds of API?

Basically, there are two kinds of APIs: First-party and the third party. Take the example of Google Maps. When other functionalities by Google are interacting with Maps, it means a first-party API is at work. However, switch to that earlier example of a food app. It is a third-party app, which is going to be using a third party API to access Maps so that the delivery guy can reach the customer. 

With more and more apps being created, third party APIs are now more common than ever. However, if you're developing an API for your internal applications to talk to one another, it is a first-party API integration at work. 

What happens in an API integration?

The underlying principle of an API to API integration is communication. In an environment, where there are multiple assets, each having its own pile of data and information, a seamless container is necessary for processes to be efficient for everyone involved. 

The first step to an API integration is invariably asking the "why". Why is there a need for this specific API? What kind of data and what amount of data will it be bridging? This is a necessary step before the data movement is decided. 

Once the information that needs to be passed through and on has been identified, it can be moved without too many surprises. 

The design and strategy phase is often followed by a test phase where the API to API integration is analyzed for effectiveness. A simultaneous phase of design tweaking and reconfiguration is often present. 

Next comes the phase where features are configured and limits are set, so that customizations are possible and along with them, what must be paid for by the final consumer and what can be complimentary. It is only after this stage of the integration, that an API is published and made available for a consumer to use in conjunction with their app. 

API integration services that are developer-friendly can make for great tools of innovation. A well-integrated API indicates that no matter how complex the background process, the end-user will still be able to access a relatively simple process. 


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