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10 Tips For Integrating Software Into Your Existing Software Platform Using An API

There are ways to link programs together without it taking ages. If two or more systems have an API, you can utilize it to connect them. You can save time, money, and resources by connecting multiple systems using an API, especially if they were not created by the same company. You should get an idea of how much upfront work is required and how much data will have to be transferred between the systems prior to beginning the integration process.‍

Written by
July 20, 2022

10 Tips For Integrating Software Into Your Existing Software Platform Using An API

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There are several reasons why an organization might need to integrate an application with another software platform. It may be a case where the two systems will have to feed data back and forth on a regular basis, or it may be because the two platforms share some common users who won’t want to log in separately for each of their needs. In any case, integrating software can be a challenge. This is especially so if your company is using multiple applications that were not built by the same vendor. APIs help streamline integration between different software systems. What Is An API? An API is short for application programming interface. It's a set of instructions that lets different programs access specific functions within another program. Let’s take a closer look at 10 ways you can integrate your existing software platform using an API.

Estimate How Much Upfront Development Will Be Needed

Before you get too far into the integration process, you’ll need to get a rough idea of how much it will cost to build the API. You’ll want to factor in the cost of any third party services or products you may use to facilitate the process. You’ll also need to consider the time it will take your development team to build the API and test it to ensure it works as expected. Be sure to communicate the time frame with your team in advance so they have enough time to complete the project. You may also want to estimate the amount of time it will take your vendors to build an integration with your existing system. If they are building an API, they will need to take the time to build the product and test it. This may add additional time to the project.

Build A Test API

Not only do you need to build the actual API, but you also need to test it using mock user data. You need to make sure that you’re not only integrating data from one system to the other, but you’re also getting accurate data back. You may want to build a test API and then offer the mock data to one or two of your users on a limited basis to make sure everything is working as it should be. This can help you make adjustments if necessary. It can also help you determine how long it will take to make those adjustments so you can provide a firm timeline to your managers.

Consider The Data Migration Process

One of the key aspects of integrating software systems is migrating data. If you have been using an application for some time, there will be data in the system that you don’t want to lose. You also don’t want to lose data from the application that you want to migrate to your existing platform. If you are migrating data from one application to another, it may make sense to use APIs that only transfer the data you want migrated. This can help you limit the amount of data you have to transfer using the API. It can also help you speed up the process because you’re only migrating the data that needs to be migrated.

Ask Your Users Which Features Are Most Important

Not only will this help you define what data you’re migrating, it can also help you determine which features you should focus on first when it comes to building the API. Your users will have an idea of what they need to do their jobs better and may have suggestions on how things could be done more efficiently. It will also help you discover what may be missing from your existing software that could be useful when integrated with another platform.

Don’t Overhaul Or Rebuild Platforms Just To Integrate

You don’t want to take the time to rebuild an entire platform just to integrate it with another system. If you have to do this, the integration may take longer than expected and will probably be more costly. Try to find a way to integrate your existing system with the application that you need to integrate with. You may want to consider using an API management service. These services will let you create an API that can be shared across multiple platforms and applications. This can help you reduce the amount of data migration that will be necessary and will allow you to build on your current software.

Add New Functionality First, Then Focus On The API

When you’re building an API, you’re probably thinking about how you will integrate data. You may want to consider building the API first and then adding new functionality as needed. For example, you may want to integrate your customer relationship management (CRM) application with your sales application. You can build an API that only transfers data related to the sales team so that the CRM application is not bogged down with unnecessary data. Later, you can add functionality so that both applications can share data with one another as needed. This can help you manage the amount of data that is transferred between the applications and ensures that your users will have a seamless experience using both applications without extra work on their end.

Make Security A Priority When Developing The API

Integrating two applications via API can take a lot of time, effort, and money. There may be valuable data that flows between the two applications on a regular basis. This is why security needs to be a top priority when building the API. You don’t want to risk someone gaining access to the API and using it inappropriately. If you’re using an API management service, be sure to check the service’s security features. You may also want to have your team review the API documentation and make sure that there are no security risks inherent in the API documentation before you start using the API.

Don’t Let APIs Be A Dark Area For Your Organization

Make sure that everyone in your organization understands how the API works and what they can do with it. This can help you avoid confusion and make sure that everyone gets the most out of the API. It can also help you avoid situations where people use the API in a way that negatively impacts the rest of the organization.

Summing Up

Integrating software is often difficult, but it doesn’t have to be. You can integrate two or more systems using an API, provided that the systems in question have an API. This is a great way to save time, money, and resources, especially if you’re working with multiple systems that weren’t built by the same vendor. Before you get too far into the integration process, you’ll want to figure out how much upfront development will be needed, as well as how much data will be migrated between the two systems.

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