There is currently a great deal being written and shared about APIs, (application program interfaces) and what they mean for modern business. This article will aim to provide a few simple details and discuss what the pros and cons of the API process may be. Allowing you to gain some insights as to whether your business would benefit from the ability to have all your applications available on one digital interface.
What is an API
An application program interface has arguably become one of the best-known means of managing and running a series of applications and software programs from a single interface. Two or more of the software programs that a business is using can communicate with each other, share data and both be used in real time through the API design.
Pros of an API
Integration has to be one of the main pros of an API. The aim is to allow a number of systems to share and use the same data as well as allow the various pieces of software to work towards the same overall business goals. The API can also be very selective as to what is shared and with whom. Often used in software development itself and it is this integration and rules for access that are a chief advantage of implementing an API.
Customized and bespoke. Moden APIs are incredibly specific, and thus your business can have a bespoke software solution that can be used to drive the business forward. It will also enable a different experience for the users, keeping their work less monotonous and enabling more collaboration.
Can be internal or external and access is monitored and governed by the API. This means that your business can share as much as you want or need to and can do this internally and externally, depending on what’s best for the business.
Improved flexibility and efficiency can be achieved using an API, as the same software code will be used for a number of different applications or functions.
Cons or disadvantages of implementing an API
Security concerns are increased. This is arguably the main disadvantage of implementing an API. The more that you share, and the more users and developers are able to move between the various software programs that they have, which opens up possibilities for cybercrime.
The API can be extremely complicated. If you want to share and integrate a number of different applications or software programs used by a number of different developers or employees, it will mean that the relationship management, access, and security will become incredibly longwinded and tricky to monitor and maintain. This is not impossible, but it is more difficult.
Finally it must be kept in mind that the API can be used for a number of different applications, and it is this process of selection where your business will be able to ensure that you are using the API in the best way possible for your business and avoiding any of the disadvantages.