Most of the business today is data-driven. The amount of data being collected, analyzed, and synthesized needs higher backup. Companies choose Customer Relationship Management systems to achieve better data and store them for analysis. CRM uses a web interface to keep the data stored. An API or Application Programming Interface determines the protocol for your data analysts, engineers, and even developers to access these data.
But, what transpires is something that is not expected? Neither these APIs are easy to use and nor does your workforce have knowledge of API related taxonomy. So, a software engineer or analyst has to suddenly come to grips with jargon like REST or SOAP, without the tiniest idea of what it is? Is it the reason why you need a simplified API for your CRM?
The cloud API market is set to reach 1786.1 million by 2026 and will grow at a compound annual growth rate of 20.3%. The market is driven through the extensive use of APIs into the automation of manufacturing units to detect errors and breakdowns. While APIs may look the perfect way to make your business more efficient. You need to gauge the need for an API before developing one.
So, let’s understand what it is and why do you need it?
What is an API?
An API (Application Programming Interface) is a set of instructions or a protocol that allows building application software. In other terms, it is a set of rules that any developer or programmer must follow to interact with a programming language or an application library.
Why Do You Need One?
To understand the importance of an API, let’s take an example of any website. When a user requests a web page, the data that is presented is raw. It is an API request and not a web page request. So, as the user requests a web age, the system provides a Web API. The web APIs are in the form of raw codes such as JSON or XML files. These are not user-friendly. And what you get is not the kind of webpage you were expecting.
So, whether it is your standard website or an app, you need an API for your consumers to access your database. And make the interaction between two components of your internal structure more efficient to deliver high performance.
Now that we know why we need it? Let’s understand how to develop one?
Steps to API Development
Step 1: Architecture
The API integration can be vital to your business and that is the reason one should plant the blueprint of an API before development. All the key stakeholders of the API management should be taken into account.
An API design needs extensive brainstorming on the features and attributes it should include for the efficacy of integrations. It is a design first strategy. It helps any firm to mitigate the aftermath of a flawed design.
Step 2: Key Features
One of the most essential features to include in an API is timestamps. It broadens the search criteria for your users. It helps your consumers search through several dates and even access search history. It is vital for search-based businesses to add more search filters through APIs.
Sorting is another attribute in the APIs that help users modify their search. It helps them sort the data they need to access. The same is with the paging feature that allows the users to access data that should be displayed and also informs on no. of pages of the data.
Next is to have JSON support or RESTful APIs. Though there has been confusion for many to choose between SOAP(Single Object Access Protocol) and REST(Representational State Transfer). But, REST is a lightweight and more efficient way to develop APIs than the SOAP. And then there is the bliss of JSON files that are parsed in almost all programming languages.
Last, but not least is the authorization feature. An API should authorize any user before the access of data. Authorization with OAuth ensure better security and it has low processing times. So, it takes less time in authorization, creating a user-friendly experience.
Step 3: Method
Here are some best methods and practices of API integration that are important for your apps. To achieve such attributes and practices, you can look for an app development company that ensures effective API integration.
App throttling is one of the most popular practices in API development and integration. It helps your system keep track of loads and redirect the traffic if necessary. It is also a great way to improve the security of the apps.
While developing authorization into APIs, it is necessary to enforce the control of API gateways. They should be the central point of authority to ensure that no user gets access to data without proper authorization.
Some of the network proxies only support specific protocols and not HTTP. It is the reason why you need an API that can override HTTP. It is one of the most essential parts of your API development.
Step 4: Documentation & Testing
API documentation can help your developers understand the infrastructure. It also helps them understand the effective communications between components underlying the API architecture. Complete documentation of API development can ensure all the data needed for future enhancements and tweaks.
API testing is the last step towards your API development. But, it is not the one that you ignore. API testing provides you with the data required to analyze how users interact with systems. So, you can create more efficient features for your APIs to make application user-friendly. You can even automate API testing with many automation tools available in the market.
API Development has picked up pace in the recent past. More cloud technologies are pushing the development and integration APIs into the digitally enabled systems. APIs are already part of automation technologies. And with advanced innovations like the Internet of Things and Artificial Intelligence making the mobile application more intelligent. The need for simplified APIs is growing more than ever.
So, if you are a business looking to enhance your apps and websites with API integrations. Then API development is the right choice for you. But, more than the development, it’s the attributes that will make your CRM more powerful.
Hence, if you want to have user-friendly and robust API integrations, Feel free to get in touch with us!