If you run an online service, you may wish to expose your business to new markets and opportunities by allowing third parties access to your products or services in an automated way.
Creating a managed, throttled API for your web or cloud application will immediately open up opportunities for your business. An API allows your web application to integrate smoothly with other internal, back office applications or with third party applications & websites, without exposing the entire codebase to the world.
It throws up many questions: how do we prevent a third party API failure or shortcoming affecting our own service? How to we cope with spikes in traffic? How to we avoid duplicates and aggregate results? How do we ensure a third party developer integrating our API can't bring our server down?
Communicraft have extensive experience of both developing and integrating API for web, cloud and mobile applications across a range of sectors, perhaps most notably in the Online Travel and GIS sectors.
While Web Service API are common today, many still struggle to understand what they mean and how they can be leveraged for best effect.
New to API technologies? Read our primer here..
Web Services Integration
You may also wish to incorporate the products or services of third party systems into your own website, application or other web enabled system.
API's provided by third parties can enable you to offer a vast array of online services to your customers which may otherwise be beyond your reach - the likes of Amazon, Google Maps and many others offer a huge library of services to developers and to online businesses - from currency conversion to weather reports.
Although relatively common today, it was arguably the explosion in online travel over the last 15 years which heralded the coming of age of web services and web based API's, and Communicraft were right there as it happened, integrating timetables, hotel bed banks and ticketing systems from a vast array of suppliers.
Communicraft quickly earn the trust and respect of both integrators and providers of API / Web Services through our extensive knowledge and experience .
Integrations can be tricky, with many pitfalls, but at Communicraft we have been enthusiastically wading into tricky integrations since 2001, trusting our experience will warn us where danger lies and point us in the direction of success.
REST, SOAP, XML, JSON API Integration
There are many protocols, but today the most common would be SOAP and REST, the latter being commonly used to allow mobile applications to offer functionality powered by Cloud based web applications.
XML is a term many sitting on the business end of the table would recognise, and is commonly referred to in the context of web services, though of course, XML is not always a part of the picture, JSON objects are also commonplace in today's web services.
Web service examples would be data sychronisation between information gathered and stored in the cloud and that held on local database systems, booking engines which search multiple inventory sources in the background in real time via third party API, or the almost ubiquitous online payment processing – where authorisation happens on a remote server, but in the background, so the user never leaves your app or website.
Systems "exposing" or "consuming" API may range from back office accounts systems to CRM to booking engines, retail wholesalers to bed banks, ticketing systems to GIS databases (Google Maps is a common example of a straightforward web based API).
Communicraft, early adaptors of the .NET architecture, used their extensive knowledge of XML and Web Services to effectively leverage the best business benefits of the .net platform for their clients and projects.