Today’s TechCrunch piece entitled 3 Pillars Of The New Business World: APIs, Identity, and Data hits on several topics I’m passionate about. With the proliferation of Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) for line-of-business applications, there’s a huge opportunity to use APIs, as well as the exchanging of data, to the make businesses more efficient, and decision making more effective.
Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) are a way for computers to talk to other computers in an automated fashion. As an example, all iPhone apps that interface with servers to get data or call functions are interfacing with APIs that are accessible over the web (e.g. checking your flight on the Delta mobile app). Just like mobile apps access web-based APIs, web-based applications access the APIs of the other web-based applications, providing more value to the customer. When a marketing automation system interfaces with a CRM, the marketing automation platform can automatically pull down CRM pipeline opportunity information and correlate it back to lead gen campaigns, providing a more complete picture of the return on investment for a dollar spent by marketing — APIs make that possible.
An application talking to other applications is nothing new. Only now, with so many more applications being delivered over the web, the friction and difficulty of one app talking to another is significantly diminished as challenges with custom code and firewalls are no longer present. The future of web apps is more APIs and more data exchange, significantly enhancing the value of business software.
What else? What are your thoughts on APIs and the future of web apps?