The world of data is a tricky one. In fact, you have to be more conscious than ever before about your integrity of collecting and using data. When it comes to integrating third-party APIs, you want to know everything there is about the do’s the don’t and how to do it correctly for your benefit.
At the end of the day, you are going to need to use third-party integrations from external vendors to support your data efforts—whether that be to read data or write data.
Implementing these can be challenging at times, as there is always the risk of error and ensuring that your data stacks are built correctly.
This is why you really should focus on using API integration for your data. Not only will it help you better authenticate data, read data and write data, but also support you in deploying your data and using it for organizational purposes to drive business operations.
What is API Integration
For those that are not yet familiar with API integration, look no further than here. We want to explain all there is to know about understanding the interface and how it can help you with data integration!
If you want to do it all yourself, here are the steps you and your team would need to follow.
First, you will need to understand what the endpoints of API actually are—which can be challenging. Hopefully, you will be able to follow documented endpoints and the values, limits, and authenticity it implements. But there may also need to be room for trial and error too—which is equally okay.
For starters, you will want to kick it all off by using a test account. This will allow you to play around with the interface and use test data to better understand API integration capabilities. Most of the API applications available will let you run a free trial before having to pay, so you can really take your time in making the best decision for you.
Cataloging your endpoints will be super important and allow for the development down the line to be much more streamlined.
Then you will want to authenticate your API. Many work with an actual token that is provided in the header of the application. But others have a more complicated setup and permissions may be granted in other ways. A great rule of thumb to follow is to not hard-code anything into the API.
Writing your internal data to a third-party API is equally an important step. You will want to figure out the best model for you to use and ensure that it remains nimble enough to update in the future. You will need to figure out the type of data model that makes the most sense to query and trigger it in an automated and seamless way.
You will also want to assess if you need to fetch any data before you actually write it. You may need to follow a bit of a process to query the owners of your third-party system and designate the correct intended owner for the data. This can be tricky and at all costs, you should try to avoid making assumptions about the data.
You will need to map out the data to write it correctly. If at all possible, avoid hard-coding your fields so that it has room to evolve in the future. Avoiding a code change every time there is a field change will save you a lot of headaches and make the whole process so much easier.
Benefits to Consider for Third-Party API
So while there are a few steps in the process that needs to be dealt with upfront, here are the benefits of integrating third-party APIs.
1. Deploy Data Faster
When you use third-party APIs, you will be able to get the data out to your company faster and actually hit the ground running sooner. This avoids the headache of having to build it all from scratch.
2. Save Money
Not only will you reduce the amount of time, but equally reduce the amount of money spent as well. Your developers can spend more time and energy devoted to your actual products.
3. Secure Access
Third-party API integration will also allow you to secure access to data that may have once been hard to get on your own. It allows you to also reach customers you may not have captured the attention of yet!
API integration is challenging to do manually. With so many benefits of third-party APIs, why not save yourself time and money and use it to support your business needs?