We sat down with LOCATE’s lead API Developer, Nick, to discuss all things API. Read below on why LOCATE being an API is so vital to our application.
Okay, first thing’s first. What is an API?
Nick: An API is an Application Programming Interface. It’s a set of libraries or rules that govern how applications talk to each other.
Why is it important for LOCATE to be an API?
Nick: There are two main reasons why this is important: for integrations and for custom user interfaces. Nowadays, everyone wants to integrate with everyone. You need to have an API to integrate with other application tools and custom processes. LOCATE currently integrates with: QuickBooks Online, QuickBooks Desktop, Simple Storage Server (S3), JasperReports Server, Taxify, UPS Worldship, Endicia, Google Cloud Print, and Fedex Ship Manager. (We also have lots more on the way!) LOCATE as an API allows for absolute freedom to customize user interface per the individual needs of each company. It’s a big plus when your software can work for your business vs. your business work for your software.
What makes a good API?
Nick: I would say the three main elements to a good API would be proper documentation, consistency, and completeness. With good documentation, you’re able to know how to build off of an API. Consistency is important with how you present and consume data, and completeness allows anything done in the application to also be completed in the API.
LOCATE is a REST API using JSON data exchange format. REST Is one of the most simple, light-weight API formats. This is because the rules are well defined, making it difficult to complicate.
How do we utilize LOCATE’s API?
Nick: Because we are a REST API, any computer language is able to talk to and connect with our API. This makes it easy for other apps and companies to write scripts and programs. All of our API endpoints are documented–all its functionality, all required and optional parameters are made available to utilize.
Where can someone go to learn more about API’s?
Nick: Code Academy is a great place to start.