Most of us are familiar with integrations. However, not many of us are aware if integrations and APIs are the same things.
To make things clear, let's say both are the two sides of the same coin. But, major differences put the two technologies apart.
In this post, we will find out the differences between APIs and integrations. Having a clear idea of both will help you make an informed decision for your business needs.
What is Integration
Integration, or point-to-point integration, is the process of linking two systems or software. Your IT team can integrate your CRM with your email automation software very easily.
Today, integration has surpassed its definition of connecting two points. Rather, integration is now focused on providing a single platform that unifies disparate business apps and data. Known as middleware, the platforms enable businesses to run all operations from one interface.
So, integration can be said to be a process of tying your apps and systems together for more productivity.
What is API
API is short for Application Programming Interface. APIs are sort of messengers that allow specific applications to communicate. It's a code that facilitates a set of actions between two applications.
Mobile apps or web apps use APIs to provide their services. Think of how you book a hotel or flight. You choose your accommodation in one app that also lets you make your payment. However, your booking app is not processing the payment.
For that, your booking app uses an API to communicate with a payment gateway. Your booking app sends all your information to the payment gateway that accepts your payment. After that, the payment gateway again sends back the payment confirmation to your booking app.
All of the above activities take place over an API. You can say APIs are like bridges that connect two or more apps and let them talk to each other.
Integration Vs. API: Which One You Need
APIs are mostly used to tie apps of all natures. Many apps come with readymade APIs to enable communication and facilitate processes. Developing a custom API is also possible, but not always an affordable option.
Integration is the preferred choice for unifying systems, data, and software. You can use automation tools and middleware to cut your costs and effort.
Additionally, your application will decide what you need. API can be the best way if you just want two apps to communicate.
Streamlining all your business processes and managing them from a single interface is not possible with APIs. You will have to call in professional integrators to achieve your task. However, the cost may still be lower than API integration due to the readily available tools.
It may not always be so easy to choose between API and integration if you are non-technical. We advise you to work with an adept consultant to make informed decisions. Neuswyft can help you integrate your systems and software with the least disruptions. We also devise cost-effective solutions to help you enjoy the best results. Get in touch with us to know more.