Data synchronization with API

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REST APIBack in the old days only high-end software were able to connect with another software and share data. These days it’s kind of a basic requirement, since technology is always developing, and we use more and more different software in order to achieve outstanding results. It comes with a serious issue: usually we have to maintain the same data at different endpoints. Hands up, who wants to change the same line 10 times? That’s what I’m talking about…

So, it would be awesome if we could synchronize data automatically. That’s what so called APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) are good for. They help us keeping our whole database in sycn with data stored by another software, using minimal software developing time. Fortunately the majority of software are already capable of that kind of data synchronization, but you should know that there can be huge differences between API and API too. It does matter that a developer sets up the whole synchronizatin process working 12 happy hours or 96 hours of hard labour…

How do I know how ‘good’ an API is? Based on my own, and other professional’s experiences, I summed up in the following points all the aspects which we, developers take in consideration when we decide if a software meets our requirements or not.

  • For me, it’s an absolute ground of refusal if a software doesn’t follow any standards. Of course, it might be a neat application that works perfectly, but better safe than sorry. I prefer REST APIs, but other APIs which meet the academic standards (like SOAP, XML-RPC) are all highly useable.
  • It’s a huge adventage if the software is built on an API core, because if it is, we can be sure that everything that works one the user interface, will work in our application too.
  • The documentation of the API can also tell us a lot. If there isn’t any, using the software is unlikely. If there’s a slapdash documentation, then it seems developers didn’t have the time for writing a full documenteation, but at least they didn’t forget users completely. But in case it has a complete documentation with a lot of examples, that’s a big plus for the software.
  • Available techical support? There are cases when even hundred pages of documentation can’t help. Sometimes a tiny problem comes up, and if the developer can’t go around it, a person on the other end of the line is a big help.
  • We can also save a lot of time if there are already built function libraries for the API.

One significant strenght of Automizy is its extremely user-friendly interface. Of course, it would be good for nothing, if there wasn’t a well-built, stable core under the surface. We at Automizy, built this invisible part of the system in a way, that makes anyone able to connect his application to ours through the API. Actually, the whole software is a huge API core, which can be reached with queries by any external application. The user intercafe of Automzy is a HTML application which makes queries using the open-source AutomizyJsApi library, and shows the results through AutomizyJs.

If you want to know more information about our software, visit our developer site, where you can find the detailed documentation of Automizy REST API too.
Our continuously updated, open-source applications can be found on GitHub.

What’s the most important aspect of a software’s API for you?
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