API Integration Tools
API integration tools enable businesses to rapidly integrate systems and automate business processes to significantly reduce bespoke development times and costs, increase productivity and help to maintain, adapt and configure processes as and when business systems and requirements change.
What is an API?
An Application Programming Interface (API) is a set of commands that some business systems, applications and web services (a web-based service to an application provided by a web service provider) expose so that disparate applications can utilise its command functions and call procedures allowing them to “talk” to each other. An API calls back and forth between applications managed by web services. As a result, an API and associated web service can provide the added ability to extend a number of related business process automation tasks.
The majority of accounting, ERP and CRM systems, as well as web services such as an eCommerce web store, offer an API. An API provides the ability to synchronise data so that your business systems and applications can interact. If an API integration is not available within a system or application, which can be common with many systems, it’s possible to batch import or export the retrospective data within Comma Separated Value (CSV) files. For further information on transforming and mapping CSV files, read this article on using ETL Tools.
API integration increases the visibility of critical information and removes repetitive bi-directional data administration tasks. For example, most ERP systems and eCommerce solutions provide an API, and API integration tools such as BPA Platform sit in the middle to enable the systems to talk to each other, pushing and pulling data.
A common API integration scenario can include the synchronisation of sales orders from an eCommerce platform into an ERP system. On a daily basis, new sales orders are processed and are added to your ERP system. BPA Platform automatically synchronises the online sales order and associated customer information (Name, Address, Payment details, Order Number etc.) and places them in to the ERP system and, if required, a CRM system and courier service to completely remove manual and repetitive bi-directional data entry processes.
What are API Integration Tools?
Using an API saves manual administration in pre-processing CSV files and manually running the eCommerce import routine. Adopting a third-party integration tool can provide an improvement in general housekeeping, such as the automation of stock levels and pricing information on a scheduled or database driven event.
Using an easy to maintain, configurable and adaptable third-party data integration tool such as BPA Platform for API integration, enables you to connect your cloud-based and on-premises business systems. It provides you with a visual flow of your data processing structures and ensures that your data is consistent, well-structured and can be mapped and manipulated reliably and repeatedly.
BPA Platform API integration tool capabilities include:
- Drag and drop data integration between cloud-based and on-premises systems and applications so that integration steps are visually represented within a wider automated process
- Innovative transformation functions that can be dragged onto the mapping area to change the data between inputs and outputs
- RESTful web service integration by removing the need for bespoke development
- SOAP web services integration
- Support OData and SData services
Improving business processes through data integration tools
Bridging the gap between disparate systems or online web services is a challenge for the majority of SMEs. In certain scenarios, a batch CSV upload can be beneficial, but the wide-range of available APIs and the added ability to automate business processes has shifted methodology.
Regardless of API integration or batch imports with a CSV file, BPA Platform’s data integration tools can automate the synchronisation process from start to finish. BPA Platform reduces the pains of point-to-point integration with a drag and drop visual flow of data process structures which quickly and easily brings information between systems together. It reduces bespoke development times and processing costs, and provides the ability to report on potential integration issues in real-time.
APIs allow developers and third-party API integration tools, such as BPA Platform, to access the functionality of other software applications to disseminate data and provide consistent and robust integration scenarios. If an API is available for the systems, applications and web services you use, why would you integrate any other way?
To find out more about how BPA Platforms drag and drop data integration tool eliminates the need for complex and bespoke development, download the brochure below or call +44 (0)330 99 88 700.