APIs and Business
APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) allow businesses to create opportunities, drive innovation and find help find new ways of engaging customers. APIs are the tools that allow businesses to leverage data and technologies to expand product offerings, enhance customer experience, deliver operational efficiencies as well as complement existing platform capabilities. Where constraints exist in legacy systems APIs provide options and possibilities. Where there are no constraints, APIs provide access to an ecosystem of technologies ready to inspire developer innovation.
Discover, Innovate and then Scale. Temenos developer portal is for developers and business people alike enabling you to accelerate innovation in your organisation. Our API catalogue is evolving with products, functionality and content all the time, so if there is something that you need that is not there then let us know , we value your feedback.
What is an API?
An API (Application Programming Interface) is a defined interface through which one software application talks to another software application. Essentially it allows the sharing of information. Thanks to APIs, programs and devices can communicate safely, without knowing the internal workings of each other which can add cost time and complexity to a development. APIs make developers’ lives easier, working like ready-made building blocks for creating software.
So, how about an analogy to try and make it a bit easier. There are many analogies and scenarios out there explaining APIs, here’s one we dreamed up, see if it works for you.
You decide last minute to meet up with friends for dinner at your favourite restaurant, the sushi is really good so you use your regular app to book a taxi. The taxi in this case is the API, taking you to the restaurant. That makes you the customer of the taxi, or the API consumer. The booking details for your taxi such as the route, the time it will take and how much it will cost is your API documentation. The restaurant, your destination, is the server. You arrive at the restaurant bit it may only have certain tables available for your group or certain types of dishes on the menu. Like the restaurant the server has certain types of data. If you request something from the server which is not available (or the kitchen has run out of ingredients for your dish), then the server returns an error message e.g. bad request, bad gateway, bad authentication data, simply put, no sushi.
Why use APIs?
Good question, why bother, how do they help my business? APIs are everywhere, there are ecosystems of APIs for every industry and the niche will not be niche for much longer. So why use APIs? There are a number of business reasons why you should be interested in APIs, here are just a few:
- They can help you innovate and expand your reach through new product propositions, leveraging new platforms or new channels.
- They can help with automation, allowing the technology to do the work rather than people therefore creating operational efficiencies as well as speed to execute.
- Personalisation, the application layer of the API can be tailored to the needs of the user therefore creating a more customised experience which is more relevant to the user. Such personalisation of experiences and products has been shown to create better engagement with users or customers.
- Integration: an API allows content to be published automatically across all channels therefore facilitating more timely and consistent deployment of content.
In short, a good API will help you with more aspects of your business now and in the future than you probably realise today.
What API do I need?
Well probably a bunch of them. Any suitably comprehensive application is probably going to require not just a number of APIs, but may even require you to customize them to suit your particular needs and environment. We’ve built some examples to help you get started and show you some of the ways an ecosystem of APIs can work together.