skip to main content
Shutterstock 520064494

Create Integrated, Agile, and Automated Processes with APIs

APIs can have a significant impact on your business. But what exactly are APIs? Let’s take a closer look and explore how you can tap into their transformative power.

What is an API?

API stands for “Application Programming Interface,” or more simply, “A Person In-between.” Think of it as a software middleman that lets two applications talk to each other. An API is the messenger that delivers your request to the provider that you’re requesting it from, and then delivers the response back to you via the web. Thanks to APIs, you can link software platforms and share important data and functionality between devices, applications, and people.

APIs can speed up application development by providing the building blocks. With an API, developers don’t have to write code from scratch every time they create a new program. Instead, they can focus on the unique proposition of their applications while outsourcing the commodity functionality to APIs.

How does an API work?

APIs are in action everywhere, even if you don’t notice them. For example, most online stores let you make purchases using PayPal. When you click the “Pay with PayPal” button, the store sends an order request to the PayPal API, specifying the amount owed. A popup window then confirms your purchase, and finally, the API sends confirmation of payment back to the store.

APIs play a huge role in today’s economy, powering our digital lives from behind the scenes. In the events world, APIs can help make storing and exchanging data – and therefore, your business processes – faster and more efficient. The Ungerboeck API, for example, offers the possibility to integrate with a range of third-party providers to meet your specific requirements, from financials, to point of sale, to virtual events, workforce management, and more.

What are the different types of APIs?

There are many types of APIs that let platforms communicate with each other in the same programming language; Java, for example. Besides program-based APIs, there are Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP) and Representational State Transfer (REST) types that refer to the rules used to exchange data between two web applications.

REST defines a general framework that developers should use when working with APIs. SOAP follows a more rigid, complex, and fixed set of rules. Think about it like this:

Tommy calls Annie with a request. She answers his call with “Hello” or “Annie speaking” This is REST. With SOAP, Tommy would have needed to use a secure phoneline, and Annie would have answered with a fixed statement like, “This is Annie Puffel from St. Louis speaking.”

Most modern web communication is done via REST APIs. Ungerboeck’s REST API allows for more seamless integrations and maximum use of the Ungerboeck database.

Why do you need one?

Data is one of the most valuable assets in your organization. It drives business efficiencies, like costs and time, and helps identify new revenue sources. Moving forward, your business will be creating and storing a lot more data. APIs provide a smarter way to access it. Consider this scenario:

Tommy is planning a conference. The final plan, including location, accommodations, and catering, needs to be communicated to all partners by the end of the week. So, Tommy has a lot of researching, calling, and comparing to do.

He reaches out to his friend Annie, a freelance event manager. Annie sends him an overview of all hotels and conference locations available based on his requirements. Tommy and Annie can continue to exchange requests and responses as he builds a plan. It only took Tommy a single call to get this information, which was quicker and easier than calling each location one by one.

At the end of the week, Tommy shares two different plans for the conference with his boss. Afterward, Tommy reaches out to Annie to confirm all elements of the preferred option and cancel all arrangements for the other option.

Now let’s look a scenario using an API, or a “virtual Annie,” involving digital signage at a venue:

Venues have multiple digital signage displays on multiple devices for events. When there’s a change to the event details, each device needs to be updated by logging into the signage system. By using an API to integrate two systems, performing an update on the event management system will automatically push the changes to all the display devices, which again is quicker and easier than updating each device one by one.

New levels of speed and agility can be brought to your business by implementing APIs. With an API platform in place, you can seamlessly integrate new capabilities and modern technologies as your business grows. The Ungerboeck API can be tailored to your needs and help you develop solutions that make a difference to your bottom line.