What Is API Integration in Mobile App Development? How Does It Work?

What Is API Integration in Mobile App Development

Do you wonder, why API integration is essential in mobile app development? In this digital era, you cannot perform your daily operations without mobile phones and the apps that exist in it. Whether you are using music or video apps, weather updates, food delivery apps, social media, or shopping apps, it all functions through APIs.

An Application Programming Interface (API) is utilized in creating applications. APIs allow various web services, systems, and software to connect and share enterprise data. APIs are popular and mainly utilized due to their ‘platform-independent’ properties. An Application Programming Interface (API) is utilized in creating applications. APIs allow various web services, systems, and software to connect and share enterprise data. APIs are popular and mainly utilized due to their ‘platform-independent’ properties. API extracts the information regardless of the operating system or technology stack.

Every industry today requires API integration to ensure the seamless operation and performance of applications and web systems. Moreover, API integration fosters optimal and automated functioning, business processes, and smooth systems that can interact and share critical data.

But before we jump into API integration meaning, let’s learn about API

What is API?

An API is a set of protocols, instructions, and tools that allows the interaction and communication between the connecting software components. It allows software or an application to employ features of another app or platform for better functioning and services. This helps the user to communicate with a web-based tool or app. API enables the user to use an interface to request something from another app. This way, the app passes the data to an API to interpret the information and provide the result. An API then translates the returned data into the user’s understandable language.

For example, when we hit the ‘Connect Facebook’ button on the 8 balls pool, we don’t need to fill in our Facebook account details. Rather,  it accesses all the data from the Facebook server and provides us with the games page. This all becomes possible with API.

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What is API integration?

API integration is the process of connecting two or more applications via APIs to communicate and share data with each other. API integration performs a joint function or exchanges information to ensure data integrity.

Businesses today use different kinds of applications, including web-based services such as SaaS platforms, enterprise software (ERP software), and in-house developed custom software. Each of these apps coexists to make business operations more seamless and efficient.

For example, a business uses an API integration platform for different applications to work together such as Marketo (web tools), Salesforce  (an online CRM system), and Oracle ERP (a cloud-based ERP software app). Each of these apps includes common entities related to the organisation such as names, contact information, etc.

It is necessary that the customer information placed in the ERP system of a business to reflect the same in Marketo and Salesforce, and vice versa. If it fails to update the information across all three apps, it signifies that your sales or marketing team is working with inaccurate or wrong data. Hence, this inefficiency in operations can lose your potential leads, and you can even miss out on sales opportunities.

So, getting the API integration solutions for your business can help you get the advanced automation features between the applications that trigger automatic updates whenever data is changed in one of the applications. This also enables the easy maintenance of a master database (ERP system) that you can use for accurate reporting and analytics.

Why API integration is important in mobile app development?

API integrations can benefit modern businesses with the tools they need to get that competitive edge and success. So knowing the ins and outs of API is necessary. If you have a tech startup or any other business, you will have to include API integrations in your business software.

For example, HubSpot is the most common content optimization system (COS) which combines the efficiency of a content management system (CMS) and a customer relationship management (CRM) tool.

HubSpot is always compared to WordPress, but HubSpot provides more tooling to take maximize your business operations and success, through marketing and beyond. Hence, the many integrations HubSpot offers only multiply this effect.

Moreover, Those who want the CRM of HubSpot, for one, but also want to use WordPress can deploy API integrations to include HubSpot into their WordPress CMS.

Apart from this, those who take to HubSpot CMS, also use API integrations to utilize Salesforce, a similarly popular CRM. However, the utility of API integrations is numerous. This is just a single example of it.

Hence, If you want to a mobile app development or web app development, APIs will play an important role. In addition, REST APIs are integral for using networks. You can even contact a mobile app development company and get the best mobile app development services with API integrations. This will make your business app more reachable, engaging, and powerful. 

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Key Functionalities of API Integration Tools

  • API integration tools allow you to integrate your existing software components.
  • It also allows you to use public APIs to integrate various online apps, such as Twitter, Google Maps, Marketo, and Facebook, along with your business applications.
  • It allows the clients to use these open APIs to complement the information present in your enterprise database to support or enhance business operations. For example, businesses can use the Twitter API to learn more about prospective customers and emerging trends in the market.

What are the Examples of API integration?

The API integration can help your business in many different ways. We have mentioned some of the use cases of API integrations.

Connect Cloud Apps

Cloud apps are software applications where every back-end technology such as logic and data is accessed online through the Internet. instead of local machines.

To make it simpler, we take the example of Amazon Web Services (AWS) —  it is a cloud platform that offers businesses servers, storage, networking, and more services to run their operations more smoothly and control over a third of the market. Google Docs is also a known example of a cloud app. Hence, API integrations are the way to connect cloud apps these days.

Creation of Custom APIs

Pre-written APIs cannot be used every time, Sometimes custom software is required to make the work efficient and flexible enough for your project. When this situation comes in, it is always accomplished by developing a custom API.

Ease the mobile app development

APIs are a method of standardization to a great extent. Rather than writing and rewriting code to facilitate integration,  APIs serve as outlines to streamline the same process in a more efficient way.

Many popular apps have been developed with pre-written APIs that hold everything together in the app. API integration is the best and easy way to input many different functionalities into one high-functioning and performative application.

Strategic Team Movement

Many SaaS companies also create APIs for businesses when developing APIs from scratch cannot work and needs more custom development. Moreover, it is commonly used by businesses today. This not only makes faster development but including this mode of API integration can maximize the productivity for your team. Speedy mobile app development is necessary for successful app releases.

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How does API Integration in mobile app development work?

To make it simpler consider the fact that as the user interface is designed or created for the user, the same way API is generated for the entirety of the application or the computer.

For instance, the user or human accesses the application. In web apps of websites, the API stays between the application and the server. It responds to the human user’s request to access the app and makes the request run from the server.

API uses pre-defined protocols, instructions, and data to fulfill the user’s request. Hence, API works as the intermediary between the two software.

Suppose you opened an app or website and filled out a form for booking a flight. You filled up all the details about the flight, time, price, and dates and submitted it. Within seconds, a list of flights appears on the app along with the price, timings, and other details. Who’s behind this? Its API is working and communicates your needs to other software.

Here, the flight booking app and the airline’s website act as two software while API is the intermediate streamlining the data sharing process between the two. Moreover, the API works in two ways – REST and SOAP

Both these methods are efficient, but a mobile app development company prefers REST over SOAP. As SOAP APIs are platform-dependent.

To know more about API integration. contact our mobile app development experts!

Benefits of API integration

  • There are several types of APIs exist that offer the functionality to the system to connect to the cloud application/platform. Thus, API integration plays a crucial role in connecting the system to cloud apps.
  • Adding different APIs in a system increases the functionality of the system with more features and better performance. Moreover, using the API integration platform helps in developing new APIs and saves effort and time for developers.
  • APis can even integrate with system databases and extract data from the databases.
  • The API integration can even businesses manage the system better and can maximize productivity.
  • API integration allows easy and seamless Interaction with the Application and users can easily communicate with the system.

How kanhasoft can simplify API integration?

  • Pre-build connectors for many cloud-based services and apps, including popular CRM solutions can connect to any open or custom REST API.
  • Provides you with a variety of built-in transformations to help you aggregate, transform, and format data retrieved from APIs as and when needed.
  • Offers Simplified, code-free mapping that eliminates the complexity of the data architecture and storage platform. Kanhasoft API Management easily develops and automates data mappings.
  • Integration with third-party APIs also allows you to design and publish your APIs

Hence, API integration solutions create communication between external apps and your enterprise technology stack. It helps in seamless data sharing between the two systems. Today, many businesses use cloud-based services, SaaS platforms, enterprise software (ERP), and CRM solutions. So, it becomes necessary to use API integration to avoid the time-consuming coding process and induce faster development.

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Frequently asked questions on API Integration

Q. What is the cost of developing an API integration?

A. The cost of developing a single API integration can be a lot more expensive and depends on the complexity of the integration and the time investment of your developers. On the other hand, Using pre-built integration and automation tools, can cost you less and save your developers countless hours of work.

Q. How can I build an API integration for mobile app development?

A. API integration requires a deep understanding of the system you are looking to connect. You can follow these steps for better results:

  • Note your business case for the integration
  • Assemble internal teams and resources
  • Research the relationship between data in each system
  • Develop and test the integration
  • Monitoring integration performance
Q. What are REST API and SOAP API development?

A. REST (Representational State Transfer) API is a software architectural style that defines a complete set of constraints to be executed for developing Web services.  On the other hand, SOAP (Simple Object Access Protocol) is a complex protocol that adds more standards than REST, such as security.