An API is an Application Programming Interface. It is a set of programmed agreements on how to exchange data with another application. You could, for example, use the API of a delivery partner to ask for the real-time location of specific parcels or containers.
So you can use an application’s API as a door into that application, a door with a set of rules on how to get access and exchange data.
There is a whole world of applications out there that offer APIs to connect to. Market places, for example, work with APIs, and connecting to them may open up extra sales channels.
Through APIs, you can access all sorts of added-value information that may enrich your offering. Think of parcel tracking information, real-time market information, shipping prices… The information made available via APIs is expanding almost daily.
APIs add flexibility to your system and offering, as they are easily and maximally customizable. Also, as these applications are constantly updated, using the APIs keeps your offering future proof and relevant.
It also makes you accessible to partners, with a live, real-time connection. Montova Live enables business systems anywhere to connect and talk to each other.
APIs (talking to a remote application) or EDI (document exchange) seem like two competing techniques. You may be wondering which one to use.
In reality, both have their strong points. An API may supplement your EDI flows with additional value-adding information. It speeds up and offers real-time interaction between systems. EDI, on the other hand, makes sure that data is interpreted and handled correctly and that partners speak the same language.
Therefore, we at Montova recommend you embrace both. Or better still: have them embraced for you in a fully managed B2B integration platform such as Montova’s.
Both APIs and EDI also have their attention points. EDI is all about standards and requires the necessary expertise. APIs lack standardization and require lifecycle management and attention to security and compliance. With Montova, we’re taking all these worries away from you, so you really get the best of both worlds, and the best only.
Montova Live is an integral part of the Montova landscape, offering you a host of additional functionality.
With Montova Live, you can profit maximally from all the Montova services, interacting real-time and adding functionality on the fly. The service also allows you opening up to the outside world, offering extra visibility. And it allows integrating extra back-end systems.
As only one of many examples: Montova Live allows interacting with applications such as Salesforce, or with service providers that offer geotracking for your goods or containers.