One thing I love about working at Neota is being around other nerds. We’re the real deal, too: we get genuinely excited about new technology and problem-solving. When I made my first app with an API integration, I thought, “Okay, I’m going to nerd out about this,” and I did.
In an API call, one application sends data to another in a coding “language” they both understand. The entire exchange only takes a few seconds, which is impressive. So yeah, I went full-out nerd when I set one up with no-code using Neota’s Web Services Editor.
What’s with all the jargon? APIs vs. Web Services
You’re not alone if you’re confused by all the different integration terminology. Web service is a blanket term that refers to any online application-to-application communication. Specifically, Neota uses REST APIs, which are also the most common of the web services. In the same way, a pumpkin is a gourd, or a Coke is a soda. They are so common that many of your favorite apps, like Google, Twitter, and the New York Times, use REST APIs to provide free public access to their data.
Not all APIs are Free
If you’re regularly involved in technology buying decisions, you’re probably familiar with Partner APIs and how some vendors market their integration capabilities. Unlike public APIs, Partner APIs (as it sounds) are custom-developed to allow data sharing between strategic business partners. Many companies gravitate to this type of integration because it’s secure and easy to implement, provided the documentation is good. However, these APIs are developed for very specific purposes, so if you need to perform a slightly different function, it may not be supported. Partner APIs can also come with hefty price tags and varying costs for usage.
How is Neota Different?
As a pre-sales engineer, I’m often asked, “What does Neota integrate with?”.
I know it sounds like a sales line, but I always have the same answer, “Everything!” (and then qualified by “at least everything with a REST API”). Afterward, I usually share some examples of API integrations built with our Web Services Editor, a visual tool that doesn’t require coding.
Neota customers aren’t limited to integrating with our partner companies. Still, they have unlimited free access to our most popular integrations, which we’ve turned into reusable ‘Building Blocks’ they can use or incorporate into an existing solution. Among others, our Building Blocks include SharePoint, DocuSign, Box, HighQ, and iManage integrations.
In my deep dive into APIs, I’ve learned quickly that integrations allow you to do far more than avoid data silos. You can use them to create third-party reporting apps or to combine products into a seamless experience for your end users.
Right now, I’m working on an integration that lets users automate corporate service agreements with client data from their billing system. And another integration that posts the complete documents to iManage Work.
You could use an API call to check the weather or post pictures of your cat on Facebook. APIs are also a game changer for designing a flexible and secure data management strategy, especially in highly regulated industries like Legal and Insurance. Not to be a nerd again, but the possible use cases for API integration are endless.
Want to know more? Use this link to contact us and leave “API” in the comments.