API And Data Integration Services: Learn How To Improve Your Business

api data integration

API And Data Integration Services

An Informative Guide On How To Improve Your Business

You may be curious and ask yourself how you can improve the efficiency of the large company you work for or the small business you own. If you came to the conclusion that it’s time to start looking into API  and data integration services, you are not alone.

In fact, API service has been improving by becoming easier to implement for developers making them a hot trend. API services are becoming especially popular with businesses that have their own website or can be found on the internet which is a necessity these days.

The following frequently asked questions will help guide an overview of what will we will be discussing throughout this guide. Hopefully, this provides you with a little more knowledge about the potential benefits of using an API service.

What is an API?
What Can an API do?
How Can API Services Help My Business?
Who Offers API Services?

First thing’s first, what the heck is an API?

Definition: The acronym (API) stands for Application Program Interface. This is a large set of technical code that grants two software programs the ability to speak with each other in a predetermined way.

This specific way of communicating is made up of two unique but related elements. The first element is a specification that describes how information is transferred between programs. This is done in the form of a process request and a return of needed data. The second element is a software interface with code written to follow the specification and then publish it for use.

What this means for you is simple. This acts as an entryway into the desired software program, granting access for other programs requesting to interact with it. Additionally, API’s can support the demand of real-time sharing of a tremendous amount of information from one software program to another.

What Do They Do?

APIs have been used for years and some of the largest companies even have their own. Here are some examples of their use.

Google Maps APIs allows developers to embed the use and functionality of Google Maps on desktop browser websites as well as mobile phone applications.
YouTube allows Google’s APIs to let developers integrate the videos and tools of YouTube into websites and apps. This includes the YouTube Analytics and Data API, YouTube Live Streaming API, YouTube Player APIs and a whole lot more.
Microsoft Windows uses multiple sets of APIs within their system hardware and the applications. One of their APIs allows the action of a user to copy and paste text from one application to another.

apiMost of us don’t realize that we use API’s all of the time in our everyday life. Whether it be on our mobile phones, televisions, or computers. In fact, this is actually one of the main reasons why APIs are created. To allow users and developers to interact with a program without requiring them to fully understand what’s actually occurring behind the scenes.

Integration: For smaller or medium sized businesses, APIs can be startup friendly and in some cases really help scale your business with minimal resources depending on your situation and needs. With that being said, you will need a developer who knows the ins and outs of API integration.

Integration can be a tricky deal as it can involve a lot of work including coding, testing, and monitoring. Fortunately, API’s have come a long way in terms of ease of access, making it easier for developers to use and integrate. In fact, the larger companies we previously mentioned; Google, Youtube, and Microsoft, actually encourage programmers and developers to use and build on their features and capabilities.

If you are not a technical developer yourself, you will need to hire one to help you with the integration process between your software and an API.

Return Data Formats: When using an API that has been integrated into your software, you will receive data back that will be in a specific format. The two main data formats involved with the output of returned data are XML (Extensible Markup Language) and JSON (JavaScript Object Notation). The two are similar in terms of readability and are easy to transfer the data to a document or spreadsheet.

Here we have two examples of the different output formats of a phone number verification request. To the left is the XML format and to the right is JSON.

Now that we covered that, let’s get right down to business!

How Can APIs Help My Business?

It doesn’t matter whether you are a large business with the need to efficiently share vast amounts of data across various departments or you are a part of a small business that’s developing a mobile phone application. There are a countless number of ways that an API can make your life easier.

Integrating an API with your software can open up doors to your customer audience. Giving them the ability to easily and efficiently access data when they are looking to do something specific with the information. This ability to share and integrate specific data with private and public applications brings your business into the greater picture in terms of internet presence and authority.

The right type of API for you depends on your data needs.

In general, everyone can benefit from additional personal contact or business related information. Integrating search tools into your system that allow you to find names, addresses, phone numbers, or email addresses with your own software can be a game changer. Even something as simple as verifying a phone number and distinguishing whether it’s a landline or a cell phone can be essential to your day to day work and productivity. Maybe you have a specific interest or a niche marketing need of integrating tools that search for background checks, social security verifications, or even ZIP code information. Many options and possibilities are out there, but how do you know who to go with or where to look?

Who Offers API Services?

Let’s be honest, you could spend hours trying to compare or even find an API service that’s a good fit for your data needs.Some aspects that need to be considered when choosing an API service provider should include:

  • Data Availability
  • Security and Privacy of Data
  • Monthly Costs
  • Flexibility and Options
  • Technical Support

api

Searchbug offers a wide variety of data integration. This ranges from general names and numbers to more in-depth and specific options to choose from. Searchbug also strives to keep the highest quality of security with customer accounts and the data that is provided.

To gain access to Searchbug’s API services, the only required commitment is creating a business account with a prepaid plan that fits your monthly volume of search requests. There are no subscriptions or any initial fees with Searchbug’s API services as they are all priced per query or hit.

To put this into perspective, let’s take a look at an example.

To the right, we have Searchbug’s Find Name from Phone API service option. As you can see the service is on a pay per hit basis. If there is no information provided, there is no cost. Additionally, some of Searchbug’s API services include tiered pricing as well. Based on a monthly time frame, as your volume goes up, your price per hit decreases. A calculator tool is even included with the services that offer this tiered pricing discount. This helps customers can get an idea of what they may expect to pay.

Do you use API and data integration services or have a general question about it? We’d like to hear from you in the comments section! Also, check out the full list of API services that Searchbug provides and more related content by following the links!  >>> Searchbug API Services

 

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