APIs: Our Favorite Data-Sharing Doohickeys

Think of an API as a waiter at a restaurant. Looking over the menu, you order the signature green eggs and ham. The waiter goes back to the kitchen, and then returns with your request.

That’s exactly how APIs function. They are not databases or servers (the kitchen in this example). Instead, they are what lets one software component communicate to another (like the waiter to the chef).

But now imagine 10 waiters at your table. Hundreds. Each one asks to take your order from their own separate menu. And instead of ordering green eggs and ham from all of them, you order dishes you’d otherwise wouldn’t have access to if it weren’t for all those waiters.

Alright enough about waiters.

The crux of it is that multiple APIs can be leveraged to request data from multiple systems at once. In fact, you may be receiving data because of APIs this very instant. It’s how your ERP solutions, accounting packages, and business analytics software all share data with one another. It’s how social media platforms handle communication between platform and remote endpoints. It’s how you check your bank balance on your phone.

Connecting Dispatch to QuickBooks is all possible because of APIs. 

API integration ensures everyone is on the same page. Let’s use a ready mix plant as an example. Through APIs, Command Alkon tools can not only synchronize with each other, but with any third-party software — including other batching tools, QC solutions, and beyond.  

Because they’re practically the middlemen of apps and web services, baking APIs into product designs has become a SaaS standard— which is why Command Alkon adopted its API-first approach. As the role of software grows, APIs will continue to find new use cases and play an ever-increasing part of software development.

Watch our Solutions Specialist, Billy Ripple, create an invoice using billable record data.

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