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What’s that API thing everyone is talking about?

When you think of APIs, you think of programming, code and geeks right? Well, let’s reserve judgement and see what APIs are truly capable of. How does one program or website talk to another program or website, of course through an API.

There is no better way to demonstrate how APIs work than to watch this short video.

This video is a great explainer for how APIs work. The user, in this case Gromit pulls the lever and sets off a series of events which are automated processes. The key with APIs is to make your life easier and automate processes so you don’t have to do them manually.

When I want to do this, do that. It is that simple. If you post an update on LinkedIn, you will be asked if you want to also post it to Twitter, this uses an API. If you want to log in to an account on a website and it asks you to connect your facebook, this uses an API.

APIs are not something that should be feared and thought of as something that only really technical people can use. There are services out there which makes setting up your own APIs easier such as Zapier and Webhooks.

For us, our experience of APIs is about not making our customers have to use new systems when they want to use our product. We want them to be able to continue using what they are comfortable with and therefore we provide a wide variety of APIs and connectors so that they continue to use the tools they love.

I would encourage everyone to check out Zapier and broaden your horizons by seeing what is possible. Maybe set up a system so you get an SMS when an email arrives or explore and see what is possible!

I hope this makes Application programming interfaces a bit more easily understandable for you.

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