Gears-and-connection

I was reading this article earlier today and got to thinking about APIs. Have a smartphone? You probably use APIs every single day and don’t even know it. What’s an API you might ask? I’ll let the article do the talking,

“An API is a specification (think of it like a contract) for how two pieces of software talk to each other and exchange data. Web 2.0 companies were the first to recognize APIs, historically used by developers to help teams work without stepping on each other’s toes, as products to be shared with — and sold to — customers and partners. In just a few short years, APIs have become a crucial channel, attracting customers with the ability to extend products, helping partners deliver the value they promised, and growing the ecosystem as a whole.”

Companies are providing APIs to customers and 3rd party developers to create tailor-made interactions between software components. Still confused? Here’s a hypothetical example. Let’s say your company has its own mobile app that lets you securely interface with documents and information on the go. Now let’s say your company has implemented an enterprise video platform that houses all of the video knowledge of your company in one centralized hub on your network or in the cloud. At this point your company has two options, assuming the enterprise video platform they have selected has mobile capabilities they can either utilize the platform’s out of the box mobile app interface, or they can use the API from the platform provider to seamlessly merge video functionality into your company’s existing app, giving you the freedom to bring video alongside text documents in the app’s architecture.

To quote Mr. Deeter’s article one more time, APIs have become the, “digital glue” that can add new functionality to your business’ existing software, and no back-to-school video tool set is complete without your bottle of Elmer’s.