Are you just looking into API integrations? APIs, also known as application program interfaces, may look simple to integrate on the surface, but this can actually prove to be quite difficult to handle on your own. Especially if you’ve never really done API integrations before, it might take some extra time to get comfortable and familiar with all of the software you could be using.


Additionally, the softwares and applications that you choose to use for your API integrations could heavily depend on the needs of your company or your development team. Even further, API integrations could depend on what your clients need or rely on most, depending on user experiences, for example.

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What are API Integrations?

API integrations generally involve integrating an application or its data into the operation of a company’s customer base. Most frequently, this will be related to services being provided by third party companies or vendors.


Essentially, every company will have to deal with API integrations on one level or another, even if a particular business’s personal needs don’t seem extremely complicated. In fact, API integrations can be pretty complex, and it gets to be pretty easy to make mistakes along the way.


How do I Integrate my API?

In general, it’s best to begin with an API’s endpoints and go from there. For example, you can start with the documents that the third party application is providing you and move forward from there.

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While it’s not always the case, there is a chance that there will be information about the end points from the application there, like sourcing, rate limits, and return values. If there isn’t any information about these endpoints, you might have to put in some elbow grease and deal with trial and error.


It’s also necessary to authenticate your sources and points of contact with the third parties. This may mean using a unique API token, like a password or passcode, or providing authorization access through communication that provides a more temporary token.


Requesting and Reading Data

Generally, the only way that you can read and access your data is to request it. Frequently, this will require knowledge of a coding language, often HTTP. You’ll likely need to use HTTP requests in order to receive your data. Some applications will use Python, Java, or Java Script, alternatively.

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Writing Data

When writing data, you’ll need to figure out how your data will be queried into the application. This is especially the case if the data is coming from your company internally. You’ll need to be able to note when changes have occurred, like if a user has changed their name or contact information.


You’ll also want to monitor these changes. Additional features, like data history, may be useful.


However, to get this data, be sure to figure out how to fetch the data from someone on your team. Frequently, they will be connected to the app through an identification number, rather than a name or email.

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Mapping Fields

When you’re syncing data, you’ll need to make sure the correct information is being placed into the correct places. For example, user_name in one application may need to sync to ContactName in another.


There may be rate limits in order to limit the amount of contact you can have between a user and your application. So you may choose to batch these changes instead of sending notifications for individual circumstances. Just watch out for mistakes in big batches.


Additionally, it could be smart to parallelize your batches, or send out multiple batches at a time. This gives you the ability to reduce the number of potential mistakes, as well as decrease the amount of time between requests being fulfilled.

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Additional Information

In addition to the above basic information, it’s also a good idea to do some research into other ways of optimizing your API integrations.


For example, how will you handle errors? Will you keep track of the progress that you’re able to make on requests? And what data about that progress will you decide to keep? What do you think the best way to deploy requests for data will be?


Will you potentially decide to release metrics to your users? If you do, what might be the best way for them to receive that information? Do you think you’ll give them access to average response times?

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In terms of logging the progress that you make, it might be a good idea to keep timestamps of individual requests and the response times that your team has. It might even be useful to keep an eye on what you tried to resolve an issue or request, as well as whether what you tried was successful or not.


As for monitoring and sharing information with your users, you might decide to share the most common information, rather than all of your data. Depending on how complex this gets, if you decide to share this data, you may need to introduce another piece of software to your integration plans.

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