APIs, APIs everywhere! But what on earth is an API?

Posted Sep 5, 2016 | ~3 minute read


You may be used to transferring data between software by manually handling CSVs, but what if this could be automated? What if this could be done in realtime? That, is exactly what an API would allow us to create, seamless data flow between applications in realtime, without any manual interactions.

Thats great, but why should I care about an API?

Lets say you have a contact form on your website, and currently it just asks for a few basic pieces of information and emails that off to a generic email. The process is that then someone in your team would pick that email up input the information into a CRM and continue contact with the lead there.

Using an API we could directly funnel the information into your CRM, eliminating the risks and unreliability associated with email. What's more is this can be realtime, so immediately we could alert your team by sending a push notification to their phone, or similar. The scope for what can be done is entirely flexible. If you can think it, we can probably do it.

Real world application

We have many instances of utilising APIs, but one of the more interesting uses was directly tying into a clients sales pipeline, using an online quote portal for life insurance we created. When a customer retrieved a basic quote online we added a deal into their pipeline. As the customer moved further down the process, retrieving policy documents, etc. we increase the 'hotness' of the deal. Finally if the customer applied for the policy the deal is marked as won.

By utilising the API we completely removed the need for any human interaction, management of deals and moving them between stages in the pipeline. Leaving our client more time to focus on driving more traffic to their site.

Where can this help me?

APIs allow for great automation to reduce your time spent managing repeating tasks. Most online services have some form of API that we can interact with, they're everywhere, in all reaches of technology. Every app on your smartphone probably interacts with at least one, and you wouldn't even know its happening.

If you have an idea that could save you time, or if you're completely unsure if what you want is achievable, give us a call or get in touch on our website. We're happy to discuss your idea and make it a reality.