The business world has changed in a vast number of ways. One of the most influential changes that have been made in the modern business world is the use of cloud-based services, SaaS platforms, and a wide variety of software tools. The very nature of business has changed thanks to these complex technological strategies, process improvement programs, and data monitoring softwares. One of the facets that come with these new business tools is the idea of querying your data. Before understanding what it means to query your data, it’s essential that you have a general understanding of API integration first. Understanding API integration is fundamental for every other concept relating to data queries.
API stands for Application Programming Interface. API is an interface that allows several different systems to interact with one another through one connected system. The types of systems that are able to intermingle via an API are:
- SaaS tools
Basically, every platform you probably know of has an API built into the system so that automated repetitive processes help you build better customer relationships and experiences. Above all other features, it is most important to understand that an API’s main function is to transfer and share data across applications. This essential function was designed in mind so that business processes would improve and become more automated. APIs also process communication from external clients, transfer the data across all the necessary applications, and automatically process requests so that your client care is most efficient.
There are two parts to APIs:
- The server: this is where all the information and resources are stored.
- The client: the part that has the ability to access information and resources via the server.
The API can establish the relationship between the server and the client, determining how the two interact with one another in order to perform the desired tasks.
There are three main types of APIs that are important to understand.
- REST APIs: this type of API specializes in the transfer of data between your server and your client. This is based on the function that a client will generate a request and the server is capable of generating the response. Another key function of REST APIs is that they cache all the resources so that it can improve its performance.
- SOAP APIs: this API is mainly focused on the highly secure data transfers. They define how messages should be sent and the exact resources that should be included in those messages. This API is more coded than others in order to keep the data transferring process secure.
- RPC APIs: mostly focused on the execution of scripts on a server, this API is used for internal systems. RPC APIs look mostly at the internal systems’ processes and actions. This is where processes are also able to be streamlined and improved.
It’s important to understand the types of API so that you can build your knowledge of API integration.
Now that you know every API is different, you can begin to understand how every API integration is different, too. Integration is used to connect your applications together. Every API is a doorway that requires the integration process to be used as a hallway to connect to the next destination. These integrations power your systems so that data is synced between systems, your business, and its users. Your business users are empowered by this integration due to the synced data and the deep observation available from this data syncing. Every request can be responded to efficiently and specifically so that the consumers are satisfied.
There are three main models to follow when it comes to querying your data.
- Event-based models respond to specific actions within the application. This model is easy to implement but difficult to keep up with. One of the challenges that come with this model is if the user profile ever changes any specifiers, such as their email. When this data changes, it can be difficult to keep up with the response system within the model, since many users end up changing their information over time.
- Database or data store models can get a feed of information right from the events while monitoring any changes that occur within the data. After it computes the changes, the information gets transferred back to the third-party application in order to account for those changes. Essentially, important information or changes are less likely to get lost.
- Batch job models use queries like SQL. Using this query language creates communication between the contents and the application itself. Whenever there are content changes, the query language sends the information back to the application.
There are several methods available to query data. What is most important is to determine what time of query is best for your business and program.
Now that you know what APIs, API integration, and data queries are, you are well equipped to navigate the new age business world. Take on your business endeavors with efficient processes and confidence.