Without even realising it, you will encounter an API connection on a daily basis, both at work and in private settings. For companies, such API connections are extremely important, because without an API, there is no digital information flow. But, what is an API and how does an API connection work?
What is an API?
API is an abbreviation for the term "Application Programming Interface". To easily explain what an API is, let's take two objects that you use every day as an example: namely, a lamp and a power socket. To use your lamp, you need to plug its cable into the socket. When you do this, the lamp and the socket communicate with each other, so to speak, and electricity is exchanged through the cable. This is what API coupling comes down to. Instead of two physical objects, two software systems start communicating and exchanging data with each other. A digital flow of information is created between the two applications, and data goes from one system to the other. In short, an API is a small piece of software that allows two different software programmes to communicate with each other.
How does an API connection work?
Suppose you have a webshop on which you offer all kinds of products. To keep track of your company's financial situation, you use a custom-made software programme built with Airtable. Through an API connection, every order placed via the webshop can be processed error-free and directly in this software programme without manual intervention. When an order is received, the webshop communicates with the API and sends customer and order data along with it to the Airtable application. The API then takes care of processing the order in the administration, also applying logic to the data.
This automatic transfer of information obviously brings some benefits:
- Efficiency. Data from one system no longer needs to be manually entered into the other system, significantly reducing the risk of human error.
- Scalability.An API link allows companies to offer their services and products on a large scale, as data exchange can take place in an automated manner.
- Integration. An API allows different applications and systems to be seamlessly integrated, allowing more value to be extracted from existing software.
- Security. If built properly, business data is transferred securely and reliably from Airtable software and accounting software, for example.
How to create an API connection
To link business systems together, it is important to know if an API is already available. Large software packages often have APIs that are available to everyone, but there are also packages that do not have an API.
- If APIs are available for both systems, then an API link can be built to connect the systems.
- If not, an API must be built. This is a job for software developers who know exactly what such an API should do and how to secure it.
Let Quivvy build your API connection.
Through direct API connections, or through the powerful connector Integromat (now called Make), we at Quivvy Solutions build seamless integrations between Airtable and external software, such as your accounting software or any other industry-specific tool you want to be able to manage from Airtable. You can also connect to your website CMS, mobile apps, social media and much more.