Top 5 API Integration Platforms: Features and Cost Breakdown
What is an API Integration Platform?
API stands for Application Programming Interface. In other words, a messenger that processes requests and allows for the functioning of enterprise systems. API enables the interaction between data pipelines, applications and devices that is essential to any online business infrastructure.
API integration platforms allow businesses to communicate information between multiple APIs. For example, a business may have an e-commerce API set up, as well as an internal operations API, as well as a marketing API. The information from all of these APIs can be integrated using an API integration management platform.
What is the API Integration Process?
API integration is the process of connection between two software systems via their APIs (application programming interfaces). This process enables applications to exchange data with each other. API integrations are a driving force for companies across many industries. APIs help organizations synchronize data, collaborate more effectively, and create new software solutions for businesses.
Companies can’t underestimate the importance of the API integration process on the rise of cloud-based applications and third-party tools that accelerate employees’ productivity. Enabling the communication between software tools makes it possible to create new automation methods, secure ways of sharing data, and develop enterprise software ecosystems.
Examples of API integration
E-commerce is among the most frequent users of API integrations. Websites need information about customers, goods availability, and suppliers to process a multitude of orders. All this information is accumulated in different software solutions. E-commerce platforms use API integrations to unify data for seamless access.
Another bright example of API integration is payment gateways. When purchasing goods online and paying with your credit card, you don’t see the actual transaction. However, the app verifies your payment details in the background via a secured API connection.
Why do You Need an API Integration Platform?
APIs are a necessity of any modern business. There are at least 16,500 APIs in existence today - chances are you use more than one of them for your business. Companies also have many options available for creating their own API, broadening the horizons even more.
Among all these choices, the API Integration Platform becomes essential. Let’s take a closer look at why.
API Integrations allow you to connect cloud apps
There are tons of cloud apps out there today. In fact, a 2016 Forbes survey found that the typical organization has at least 6 cloud apps in place. 15% of the surveyed companies used at least Google Apps or Office 365, two of the major cloud apps on the market today.
APIs are the standard solution for connecting these apps. Other legacy integration tech, like enterprise service buses (ESBs), were designed in the on-premise era. They live in one particular place, preventing them from successfully integrating other cloud-based apps. An API Integration platform that was born in the cloud is required to connect today’s modern cloud apps.
API Integration Platforms help you meet the needs of the BEST solutions out there
Think about your average enterprise level marketing department. There are tons of tasks that fall on these teams - generating creatives, launching campaigns, monitoring campaigns, executing digital analysis, public relations, and the list goes on. Sure, there are some tools out there that say they cover all of the tasks at hand, but most of those are 1. very expensive and 2. not necessarily good at all of these tasks.
Instead, a lot of departments are building their own solutions, pulling together the best applications out there for each individual task, to make sure they are using the best of the best for everything they need to get done.
To connect all these apps into a seamless interface, you need an API integration platform. This will give you a highly effective stack and a sleek interface.
You need to create new APIs quickly and easily
API integration platforms allow you to create a new API from an existing integration. Prior to this solution, companies were left to either: build an API from scratch, or use a third-party-made API.
API integration platforms allow you to create new APIs with the click of a button, saving you time and money while allowing you to get the most out of your existing technological investments.
You have existing/legacy sources that you need to pull from
Sometimes, data that has been around for more than a year winds up sitting in a database somewhere collecting dust. Part of the reason for this is because older data can be difficult to access and integrate into new systems.
API integration platforms can help you avoid the data dust, because they allow you to create an API that meets your needs, which can include extracting data from old servers and databases. You can also reuse business logic and workflows that are already working, making the whole process even simpler.
Make your teams more strategic
When API create in a manual exercise, the team of developers and IT staff is constantly working on getting everything up and running. In addition, enterprise departments that don’t have concrete, integrated stacks typically need to hire staff members that are responsible for managing just one or two apps.
API integration platforms allow your developer team to focus on strategic projects, like improving ROI on the existing apps, with fewer team members.
Improve team productivity
API integration platforms are a huge productivity booster. Why? Because the hours that would have been spent creating, managing, overseeing and fixing APIs can now be spent on other, more productive pursuits.
You just don’t want to manage each API individually anymore
Even if the API you use was created by a third party, it still has to be overseen and maintained by your developer team. This can be exhausting and extremely time consuming.
API integration platforms reduce this administrative burden significantly. Using a single platform for all of your deployed APIs will simplify management, security and overview processes.
You’re done doing it alone
API integration platform providers usually come with a team of in-house experts that are there to help you. Improvado does an excellent job of this.
Having a reliable support team can make all the difference for your business, because you will have no doubt that you are getting as much as possible out of your investment.
You want your business’s integrations to be “future-proof”
Having an API integration platform in place will ensure that you have the capability to grow with the rapidly advancing technology of our world. API integration platforms will allow you to integrate new technologies as they arise and mature, making it easier than ever to stay current.
Best API Integration Platforms
Improvado is an incredibly helpful API integration tool for marketing and sales teams. The platform lets you gather all campaign data into a single dashboard in real-time, combined with the ability to view that data in automated reports and well-designed custom dashboards.
Improvado lets digital marketing analysts focus on the actual analysis and allows them to take a different angle on their efforts. For example, here's what Jeff Lee, head of social and marketing data at Asus, thinks of Improvado:
Who should use Improvado?
The tool is perfect for marketers and salespeople, built specifically to convert dull metrics into actionable business insights.
Improvado supports more than 300+ marketing and sales data sources, which can be integrated with several clicks.
Along with this, the integrations with the platform run quite deep. Users can pull granular data from:
- Organic traffic sources
- Paid advertising platforms
- Digital analytics solutions
- Email marketing automation software
- CRM platforms
- And more
By incorporating data from all of these sources into automated reports, revenue teams achieve a highly-detailed picture of their efforts that leads to better business decisions and ROI growth.
Manual data collection is prone to human mistakes. It also takes time and effort to bring all your data to a unified view.
One of the biggest benefits of using Improvado is the quality of data it enables you with. The platform automates cleaning and transformation processes providing analysts with analysis-ready insights.
Instead of messing around with APIs, empty data rows, and SQL queries, revenue teams can dive into analysis and shorten the time to insight.
What's more, if you don't have dedicated dashboarding specialists, Improvado does the trick here. The company can help you set up analytics, create dashboards, and provide professional training under its "Professional Services" offering.
Improvado has a customizable pricing plan. The final price depends on the number of data sources you need to integrate, your business requirements, and other factors. Schedule a call to learn more about how Improvado can supercharge your marketing and sales analytics with API integrations.
Apigee API Management Platform offers all of your standard API integration platform offerings - you can build and deliver modern applications, optimize your efficiency, and gain actionable intelligence that will allow you to boost your productivity.
Apigee was named a leader in the 2018 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Full Lifecycle API Management. They are an enterprise level solution that is great for big companies looking to get all of their needs in one place.
Apigee also just introduced a new beta product called API Hybrid, which will allow users to host their runtime anywhere - in their own data center or in a public cloud of their choice. This will improve runtimes and traffic management for all of their API users.
All pricing is customized. You can request pricing for Apigee here.
Azure API management platform provides automated scaling, instant provisioning, and serverless API management.
The platform can be used to publish APIs to both internal and external customers. It can also be used to manage microservices as APIs. There are a number of dedicated usage models that users can choose from.
Azure API’s site boasts “substantial savings compared to other clouds.” However, they do not list pricing on the site, largely because there are a number of individual prices to choose from when building your API product.
IBM API Connect offers a “comprehensive API management solution for your entire API lifecycle from creation to management.” They offer all of your standard API management solutions, including API creation, simple asset discovery, self-service access for developers, and built in security and governance.
IBM API Connect offers a free trial, which is a huge plus. They do not, however, offer up pricing on their website. You can get a free trial here.
Oracle’s API integration platform offers a design-first approach to building APIs, so that everyone can get on the same page faster. Your dev team can choose between an API Blueprint or Swagger to use in designing their APIs.
The collaborative environment of Oracle API Platform enables you to onboard your team with role-based access, allowing for an extra productivity boost. The platform also offers an analytics dashboard, which gives you a complete view of your APIs in the cloud and on-premises.
Oracle offers a Pay As You Go Rate or a Monthly Flex Rate. You can also get a non-metered service for a monthly price.
There are tons of different API Integration Platforms out there - we just scratched the surface here. That being said, our pick is Improvado. If you want a seamlessly integrated platform and dedicated customer team that has your back, Improvado is a great choice.
What is an API integration example?
Payment gateways are a prominent example of API integration use case. When purchasing goods online and paying with your credit card, you don’t see the actual transaction. However, the app verifies your payment details in the background via a secured API connection.
What is the best API platform?
It’s hard to define the best API integration platform. Everything depends on your business requirements and expectations for the API integration. Still, we can highlight some of the best API platforms on the market:
- Apigee API Management Platform (Google)
- Microsoft Azure API Management
- IBM API Connect
- Oracle API Platform
What is the API integration process?
API integration process connects two software systems via application programming interfaces. This process enables platforms to exchange data with each other.
How does API integration work?
API integration is a set of rules that explain to computers, software, or algorithms how to talk with each other. Users trigger APIs to ask the server to take some action. The API is a mediator between the user-facing app and the server. So, the API asks the server to do something and brings the information or any kind of output back to the user.