An application programming interface, or API, is like a door with a security guard. You can pass, so long as you are on the list.
In more technical terms, an API is a set of requirements and regulations that control access a slice of a system or piece of a program. APIs streamline the development process by allowing new solutions and software stacks to integrate on existing ones.
You probably use APIs every day. Smart phones use an API to control access to location data. When Uber asks if it can use your Location Settings, it does this because Apple has locked that data behind an API.
The cool thing about APIs is that you can stop reinventing the wheel. APIs already cover many essential software capabilities. By using APIs like Facebook's, you can streamline your login and lead-capture processes. Giving you more time to focus on your core service/product offering.
Lampbot is our most popular bot, and the coolest thing about it, besides being able to write 300,000 lines of code in a minute, is the code that it writes. The Lampbot architecture is based on what we call micro-services
. Each micro-service is an API that can be called and integrated with a third-party.
For those technically minded, you should really have a look at Swagger
, as it is one of the most popular API tools. How Lampbot differs is that it writes a full-stack whereas Swagger mainly helps with API skeleton code and some client-side libraries.
As the world becomes more connected; your software needs to become more integrated too. You might think it is enough to have some spreadsheets and a Xero subscription, but the Australian Department of Industry, Innovation and Science's 2016 report
emphatically states that digital maturity is one of the strongest contributors to productivity and success.
A mature business process is no longer a competitive edge, it's a competitive requirement!
Seeing as API integration is a key aspect of digital maturity, Lampbot's micro-service architecture, wherein each micro-service is an API that can be called and integrated with a third-party, is a handy tool to have in your business's toolkit.