Enterprises are no longer simply leveraging mobile devices for e-mail, as these devices are now capable of accessing apps and sharing web-based content between employees and corporate resources. Apps are being designed to not only help employees be more efficient, but also to create a platform of communication with their customers, which in today’s world exists largely in the digital realm. Businesses are also creating their own internal apps that are unique to their operations, which users can not purchase in the typical app store.
An application programming interface (API) is a set of specifications that exposes a set of features from a system via REST/JSON or Web Services that can be easily incorporated into 3rd-party tools. As mobile technologies continue to change at rapid speeds, APIs are now being designed to transform the enterprise software and ensure that an enterprise’s system is future proof for the next decade of device innovation.
“Imagine all of the different systems, business logic and data moving through a company,” says Matthew David, chief digital strategist at Compuware, a provider of enterprise mobile solutions. “Now imagine all of rich content with a common interface language that can be incorporated into Web sites, Apps and any current or future technology. This is the holy grail of APIs. It is not your apps that will liberate your business data – it is the API architecture.”
APIs are a packaged set of protocols that will perform a function. Companies such as Mashery (News - Alert), which was recently acquired by Intel, and APIgee manage huge libraries of APIs that can be incorporated into apps and Web sites. To understand this further, David provides a recent example about Walgreens:
“For instance, Walgreens has a set of public APIs that give you the potential to add a feature that will print a photograph at a Walgreens you select. Why is this cool? Imagine if you are a housing inspector. You use your housing inspector app to capture data and photos of a house. Using the Walgreens API you can now add the functionality of creating print quality images that can be given to a client. APIs give you the opportunity to add complex functionality quickly into your app. The Walgreens API only takes 4 hrs for a developer to add.”
According to David, Compuware (News - Alert) has a long history of building complex and robust APIs into their systems. It can be seen in all of the mobile solutions that have been developed. Using APIs allows Compuware to easily move data from iPhones, to Web sites, to Android (News - Alert) devices and any other device the client requests.
For more information on how to implement APIs with into an enterprise’s software, please visit Compuware.