My application has an API … and now?

 

The number of systems and applications that people use is growing enormously, on average 1 user has 37 applications that he works with almost daily. For the business user, there are many more.

How can all these applications enable users to use data from different applications? How do the data come from one place to another? In most situations the answer is: they use APIs to communicate.

An API connects business processes, services, content and data to external partners, internal teams and independent developers in a simple and secure way.

An Application Programming Interface (API) is a collection of definitions based on which a computer program can communicate with another program or component.

An Application Programming Interface (API) is a collection of definitions based on which a computer program can communicate with another program or component.

 

Why use API?

An application often consists of a number of different components. The basis for an application is a database in which the data is stored. In addition, there is often a backend, a management system with which the data can be managed, and a frontend, a publicly accessible part of the application or website. The frontend and backend communicate with the database through the execution of SQL queries.

The advantage of using an API is that it provides access to information or functionalities from another party, without having to know exactly how the other program works. An API uses a small part of the code from the original program.

You can see an API as a bridge between two software programs, so that specific information can be shared and linked while maintaining safety and privacy. Parameters are set in an API; what information, how and with whom is shared. For example, APIs offer a very secure option for making data available to other software programs and stakeholders.

APIs enable parties in the chain to communicate with each other faster and more safely.

How do I use my API?

The use of an API is usually the same. An application sends a request for information to the API and receives a response from this API containing the information that you requested shortly before. All data associated with this are documented in such a way that it can be read from both the applicant and the information provider. In this way you know for sure that the API acts correctly.

You usually also have to perform a number of actions to set up an API. You will need to enter a number of values ​​(keys) to control the API.

Is an API sufficient if I want data integration between my systems and applications?

When the applications and systems you work with have an API, it is important to have them talk to each other through an API link.

The API link is an intermediate layer that ensures that the software packages can read and write together. This link determines which data from the various packages must be exchanged with each other.

Can I make an API connection myself?

To make an API link, programming knowledge is generally required. When Dovetail is used, integration can be achieved based on no-code. Via the drag and drop functionality of the Dovetail platform, a flow can easily be created where only a number of values ​​need to be entered.

 

And if not all systems I work with have an API?

In that case, too, it is possible to let systems communicate with each other. It can be checked whether the software supplier intends to make an API, if not, the information can be extracted from the system in another way. In Dovetail you first develop a specific API for the relevant system and then ensure the link between the various APIs.