It would be a very unusual day if a business owner were call us out of the blue and want to talk about API integration. Most decision-makers outside the IT realm aren’t really sure what the term means, and only tend to think about it when they’re experiencing problems they don’t understand.
And yet, API integration can actually have a big effect on your company’s bottom line.
Don’t worry: we aren’t going to try to make you an expert in software programming or web development. What we do want, though, is to share a few simple ideas about API integration custom app development that can help you to meet your business goals.
APIs might sound complicated, but they aren’t. Basically, they allow your website to interface with other tools. For instance, when you go to set an appointment online, and are taken to someone’s Google calendar, there is an API making the connection between two different pieces of software.
APIs can be used in a lot of different ways. You probably encounter them all the time without knowing it. For example, many widgets that supply information on weather, sports scores, stock prices, or currency exchange rates all use APIs. Social networks like Facebook and Twitter rely on several of them.
You might be thinking that is interesting but doesn’t seem relevant to your business. That brings us to the next point.
At some point, it’s likely you’ll want specific data (possibly from a third-party or off-line source) to be displayed in your website. That might be to help with sales, to give some useful context, or just as a useful plug-in for guests. So, there’s a good chance you’ll be using an API to bring your website together with some other social or informational tool.
However, most web developers aren’t going to build APIs from scratch. That can be problematic because every piece of code you add to your website can slow it down, conflict with other instructions, or even lead to security vulnerabilities. Choosing the right APIs, and having them properly integrated, can be crucial even (or especially) because it happens behind the scenes.
That’s where a good web development partner comes into play.
Unless you happen to be very technically-minded, or get into the details of web program on a regular basis, you probably won’t think of API integration again after you finish this article. However, hopefully you understand by this point that it’s about bringing different pieces of web-based software together. And, we hope you’ll come away with the knowledge that it's something your development team shouldn’t rush through.
When API integration isn’t handled carefully, and tested thoroughly, you can end up with problems on your website that are difficult to diagnose and fix. Pages can crash, your content can load slowly, or visitors might have the impression that things “just don’t work.”
Obviously, that’s not going to help your online strategy or your bottom line. So, while you don’t have to be an expert in API integration, you do have to hire the kind of web development company that pays attention to the details if you want to stay out of trouble.
At WebRevelation, with offices in San Antonio and Oklahoma City, we can program web applications other companies can’t. Better yet, we can finish our work on time and within budget.
To learn more about our capabilities, and what we can do to help your business grow, contact us today to schedule a free consultation!