APIs: The Ever-Growing Importance of Connecting Your Isolated Data Sources
It’s not enough anymore to simply gather data, or even provide metrics based on that data. Why? Because there are so many isolated data sources created by the growing number of both consumer and business applications, the goal is now to make sense of it all as a whole. Enter the API. APIs (application programming interfaces) are sets of clearly defined methods of communication between various software components such as web-based systems, operating systems, database systems, computer hardware, etc. They are the tools that allow developers to link one app’s component to another, allowing the data to flow back and forth between the two. To give an everyday example, you might have gotten a request from your exercise app to connect to your Facebook app so you can automatically share the results of your latest run. In turn, when friends ‘Like’ that status on Facebook, that data gets fed back into your exercise app, giving you a badge for being a social butterfly (or some such). The power lies increasingly in the ability to tether multiple data sources together in order to see the forest for the trees.
From an enterprise standpoint, SCLogic has an API called IntraKit that allows customers to link their USPS Business Customer Gateway account, intelligent locker application, ERP system, student information system, SSO, and more to the necessary components within Intra to streamline and gain even more visibility into their operations. Cool stuff!
Have additional ideas on how Intra can connect to other applications in your stack? Want to learn more? We’d love to hear from you!