Businesses often depend on information provided by a third-party to enhance or authenticate their products and reports. The other party usually being an expert in that field, supplying the data at a cost. This information will need to be integrated into a workflow with end products, whether manually, using technology, or a combination of both.
Any manual approach will be time-consuming. The data needs to be extracted from the third-party's records and inserted into the relevant position within a specific document. It may have to be carefully edited to suit a layout fit-for-purpose. Often the information is not stored elsewhere, making it difficult to re-use or find again.
A technological approach harnesses the power of Application Programme Interface (API) technology to integrate the information into a business workflow seamlessly. This data can be searched through easily, as it is likely to be saved elsewhere other than the document. The data can also be input and output in a way that suits your working methods.
An API is a set of controls (or more specifically URLs) to request or send information to the provider. Once a request is received, the API responds with the relevant information, usually in JSON or XML format.
API’s are widely available across many sectors of industry. Any organisation that delivers information to other businesses will quite likely be able to supply that information through an API. A quick Google search for the information required will probably find a solution.
Google provides APIs for just about all of its services; examples include Google books and Google blogger. Amazon has created a number of API’s, providing information on a vast range of products and services. The technology is used to share everything from social media updates to stock market analysis. The list of APIs available today is endless.
Extracting information from an API requires the expertise of a developer or programmer. It will usually come with documentation advising on the controls, how to make a request for data and what to expect in the response. The returned response would then need to be integrated into the business workflow and output to the end product.
If your business process depends on information from a third party API, Swiftcase can be configured to request the information and process it at a designated point in your workflow. The extraction of data can be done seamlessly, presenting the information at the time and place you require.
If you’re interested in a free, no-obligation demo of a powerful business process management platform, get in touch with us today.