Are you looking for the best way to start API integration for your company?
Read on to discover the best API integration tools for your needs.
What is an API?
Before Diving headfirst into the best tools for your API needs. It is crucial to have a basic understanding of API integrations and how involved they can be. The term API stands for application programming interface. Its purpose is to allow multiple computer programs to interact with each other, no matter what company they are from. This effectively allows companies to send and receive data between a plethora of departments and platforms.
As a corporation, your decisions must be data-based. APIs allow every department to access a plethora of data that informs all of their decisions. So they can be sure that they are making the best ones.
So, without any further adieu. This is a deep dive into what you should know about APIs before using one in your company.
Understanding the Interface
The first thing you should know is that the interface can be pretty complicated. To start figuring it out, you need to understand API endpoints. Depending on the third-party API the endpoints may be incredibly easy to find. Or almost impossible. It just depends on whether the other company has them well documented.
How to Authenticate an API
Once you have a good grasp of the endpoints and the interface of the APIs, it will be time to authenticate it. Each API may be a little different. But most either operate based on tokens or OAuth authentication. So, make sure you get all of your permissions in the right form, then get started using the data.
Efforts Behind Using an API
Now it is time to get into the nitty-gritty parts of handling integrated third-party API data. You will want to make sure that you are getting the most out of it. So be sure you have a good understanding of how to write and read the data, query the data, fetch destination data, and map the data.
Writing and Reading the Data
Writing data to an API may be a difficult process. Especially if it does not have a well-developed library for you to work with. The same applies to reading data. With some interfaces, you will even need to write your own library to be able to do it. The same also applies to reading data.
Querying the Data
If you are wanting to write data from your company into a third-party API. You must first be capable of querying that data. This will require personal monitoring or setting up an event-based monitoring system. Whichever one you see fit.
Fetching Destination Data
If you wish to write data onto a third-party API system, you will first need to fetch the destination data. This means you will need to acquire the necessary IDs and communication with the owner to start writing data.
Mapping the Data
Mapping destinations and the field name of the source is a must if you want to send data from a specific source to a certain destination. Seems pretty straightforward, right? This can easily be done by a field mapping process or coding it. However, field mapping will be much better in the end.
Rate limits are pretty common among integrated APIs. For those of you with larger workloads of data. You may find that you often run out of calls. To avoid this, just make sure that your batches are the appropriate size.
Potential for Error
This is obviously quite the workload on both ends. Both you and the third-party API have a lot of moving parts and shifting data, meaning that it is just a recipe for errors. Their system may not receive your request because of a network issue on either side. They may miss your request altogether. They could respond to it in the wrong way, and you may not catch it. The list could go on.
How to Avoid Errors
Because there is such a large potential for errors, it is critical to have someone log and monitor every interaction. This way, if something does not come through correctly, you will know exactly what it is and how to get it corrected.
What It Means to Outsource API Integration
Obviously, this is a lot of involved work that many companies don’t necessarily have the time for. This is why many choose to outsource this type of integration.
If you are one of these companies that want to outsource API integration and are looking for the best tool to get the job done. You have found it. Hightouch is by far one of the best on the market. They treat your data like it is their very own and provide top-notch services for any of your data integration needs.
The Bottom Line
The bottom line is that API integration is a complex machine with several moving parts. You are right to want to outsource this type of work. If you are looking for a great tool for this job, outsource Hightouch. They have everything you could need and more!