Want your next software purchase to ‘talk’ to your existing systems? | GeekEstate Blog

Nice post by Dan Moore, Director of Technology and Product Development at 8z Real Estate, about why APIs are important. It explains clearly why we built FotoNotes with an API from the ground-up.

What is an API?

API stands for “Applications Programming Interface”–not very illuminating. What that means is that the software providing the API has a way to allow other software (applications) to interact (interface) with it, with no human involvement.  That is, the two software systems can ‘talk’ to each other.

As Dan explains, “… an API lets other programs communicate with the software program you are considering.”

Why would you care if a vendor exposes an API and lets other software interact with their solution?

  • It’s a sniff test to determine if a vendor builds solutions with current technologies. APIs have absolutely exploded over the past five years, and if your vendor responds to your question with “Why would you need an API?”, or, worse, “What is an API?”, that means they aren’t keeping up with the times.
  • An API allows integration between pieces of software that don’t need to know about each other. Integrations like this can often be done by anyone who can do a mail merge in Word. This can allow you to automate your common business tasks, saving you time and money.
  • An API doesn’t just let other programs interact with your data housed in the vendor’s software, it allows you to extract that data, should you and the vendor choose to part ways. This is not easy and often requires some technical skill–but at least then you are at the mercy of someone you are paying, rather than asking the vendor to give you your data when they know you are on the way out. Think of it as an insurance policy.

You can read Dan’s full article here: Want your next software purchase to ‘talk’ to your existing systems? – GeekEstate Blog.