10 Reasons Why You Need an API Integration Platform
By Stefinie Fernando
- 15 Apr, 2022
In an era where the world is rapidly moving toward digital transformation, there are numerous discussions on Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) and API integrations. An API is an interface that enables applications to communicate with one another through commands. In simpler terms, it functions as a messenger, delivering a client's request to the provider and then returning the response to the client. Today, APIs have become a necessity for almost everything in the digital world. Nowadays, the concern is not whether APIs are needed, but how many of them are necessary, and how companies can create and manage these APIs optimally. This is where API integration comes into play.
An API integration refers to the connection between two or more applications via their APIs that facilitates sharing of data sources. Any new digital functionality built today will likely reuse the functionality of an existing API. Hence, API integrations are critical to provide new digital experiences to customers. Additionally, API integrations allow organizations to optimize and automate their business processes by integrating them with various applications, including cloud-based applications, thereby enhancing product innovation and productivity.
Cloud-based products and services have been increasingly popular with the introduction of cloud computing, and businesses are compelled to construct more connected systems in which data is relayed automatically across various software tools. API integration makes it possible to build these systems as it facilitates seamless sharing of data among applications in a given ecosystem. API integrations allow the creation of new digital services, enabling businesses to automate systems, enhance data sharing, and connect with different applications. Furthermore, it enables a new level of flexibility for information and service delivery and simplifies the integration of content from different services and apps. Therefore, organizations cannot overlook the necessity of API integrations in the modern world.
When businesses consider how they should develop and manage APIs, they have several options. An API integration platform is the ideal solution for most businesses due to its versatility, scalability, and speed. Here are ten reasons why you need an API integration platform for your business.
1. Create new APIs Quickly and Easily
Before API integration platforms, if you needed an API, users had to use one that was available from a third-party vendor or build one from scratch. Both alternatives have pros and cons. If the third-party API provides the functionality you need, you can use it. If not, you will need to build your API from the ground up to meet your specific requirements. Building a robust API from scratch is challenging as you must focus on several areas including the business logic of the API, setting up API gateways, ensuring high availability, scaling, and API security. We can see this option involves significant time and effort to design, implement, and maintain APIs.
However, using an API integration platform is more efficient , as it allows you to create an API with just a few clicks. This saves organizations time, money, and effort, while fully leveraging existing technology investments.
2. Access Thousands of APIs Through a Marketplace
Any new digital feature will likely leverage some functionality of an existing API. Therefore, to build new digital functionalities efficiently, all available APIs must be easily discoverable in a central location. This is where an API marketplace comes into the picture. These marketplaces are user-friendly portals allowing individuals to browse and connect to several thousands of APIs. Today, many API integration platforms come with an inbuilt marketplace and advanced search capabilities, allowing you to find the APIs you need quickly . A marketplace also helps you to compare different APIs with similar functionalities so you can choose the most optimal API for your products.
3. Share APIs in a Marketplace
Apart from consuming third-party APIs, businesses will have to build their own APIs to address certain requirements. These internally built APIs can be reused for functions both within and outside the company. Hence, it is crucial to have a proper sharing mechanism for APIs so other developers do not need to reinvent the wheel. A marketplace is the accepted location to share APIs. While various marketplaces exist solely for showcasing APIs, an API Integration platform can serve as an all-in-one solution with a variety of other benefits. Additionally, modern API integration solutions allow you to restrict the visibility of your APIs when you share them, giving users complete control over who sees and consumes them.
4. Leverage Modern and Legacy Systems Through Hybrid Integrations
With outdated data in on-site legacy systems, many organizations have several issues since accessing old data and integrating it into modern systems is challenging. An API integration platform allows companies to leverage existing legacy systems by allowing them to create hybrid integrations by connecting legacy on-site systems to modern cloud-based systems. This enables a business to reuse existing business logic and workflows while adopting new technologies.
5. Manage APIs Easily
When companies use several APIs to handle their business processes, their staff must manage and keep track of these APIs, whether they are developed internally or externally. However, as the number of APIs grow, maintaining, and tracking them becomes tedious and time-consuming. With an API integration platform, this burden is reduced as it provides a single portal that supports full API lifecycle management. This allows you to publish, promote, version, secure, and manage the usage of your APIs. It also supports capabilities such as rate-limiting, caching, tracking, and analytics. Having a fully-fledged API management solution is highly beneficial for any enterprise as it helps to optimize business processes and improve efficiency.
6. Provide Easy Access to APIs Through a Developer Portal
APIs have become the cornerstone for today’s business model as they allow enterprises to share data and resources. A developer portal acts as a conduit between API providers and consumers to facilitate easy and efficient access to APIs. If your business does not have a proper API integration/API management solution in place, providing hassle-free API access to consumers can be difficult, since you will need to custom build your own developer portal from scratch. On the other hand, an API integration platform allows developers to access APIs with ease and simplicity, which assists in the discoverability of APIs, creates awareness, and simplifies consumer onboarding. All these help developers to accelerate app development and innovation.
7. Integrate Heterogeneous Data Sources.
Many business processes harness data from different sources. For example, the HR department will conduct different tasks and consume data from several sources. Though various tools are available to handle these tasks separately, choosing disparate tools for each task is both unmanageable and expensive. API integration platforms lets you easily integrate multiple data sources and expose them as APIs or microservices.
8. Keep up with Technology
Technology has advanced rapidly in recent decades and will continue to do so Cloud computing, IoT (Internet of Things), and machine learning (ML) are some advancements that have altered the future of IT. It's practically impossible to keep up with if you create and manage APIs manually. Hence, by deploying a complete API integration platform, it can help you stay in touch with these new technologies, thereby enhancing the competency level of your business.
9. Improve Productivity and Efficiency.
Having an API integration platform can significantly boost the productivity of software developers, coders, and other staff members. Since integration platforms automate most of the manual work related to managing APIs, software developers can focus on strategic projects that add more value to the business. An API integration platform provides similar benefits for other departments too. Many integration platforms come with simple and intuitive user interfaces. Therefore, non-technical teams can also create and manage APIs as needed, rather than relying solely on IT staff, increasing overall productivity and efficiency of teams across the board.
10. Get Better Support
Regardless of whether you use self-created or third-party APIs, you may not have access to help. Although many third-party vendors provide comprehensive documentation, it may not always be of use in specific situations. API integration platform vendors usually have in-house experts who can assist you. Access to support can ensure that your business gets the best out of its APIs and other IT investments.
If you are looking for the right API Integration solution for your business, consider Choreo for Integration — A developer-friendly platform to build, deploy, and manage integrations quickly and easily. Create scheduled tasks, reusable APIs, or event-driven integrations. Build, deploy, run, and observe seamlessly in serverless, multi-cloud, and multi-environment setups