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, well crafted APIs provide options and possibilities. APIs provide access to an ecosystem of technologies ready to inspire developer innovation.
The Temenos Developer Community is for developers and business people alike enabling you to accelerate innovation in your organization. Our API catalogue is constantly evolving and growing 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 that allow the other to function. Removing this need to share complex information and platform details removes cost, time, and complexity from the process of building new business solutions. APIs make application developers and product planners’ jobs easier, working like ready-made building blocks for creating software.
In many ways the API is just a middle-man who handles your request and translates it into something the other party can understand, without you having to really know what the other party’s systems and data looks like in detail. This process is not dissimilar to what happens at a restaurant when you go out. You are given a menu of choices which you want to consume. This is the API Catalog – a menu of ready-to-consume sets of data that are a representation of something much more complex. In a restaurant analogy, the waiter is the API, taking your request for the “ready-to-consume” menu item back to the kitchen where the chef translates that into a recipe that could be very complex and detailed. The chef is the back-end of the system you want the data from (Temenos Transact or Infinity for example), and while your data is prepared by that system, the API call (the waiter) waits to deliver your ready-to-consume information back to you.
Having something to translate between a usable set of data in a format that is defined and documented is what makes an API so powerful for a developer. Integrations that used to take many months or years can be accomplished in mere hours because the exchange of data is regulated and standardized by the API provider instead of requiring rework for every possible scenario.
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.