With the rapid advance of technology, we’re so used to our devices connecting to everything and anything we can think of. From phones controlling our garage doors and thermostats to watches that pinpoint our GPS location and report back to a health tracking website, we’re so connected that it’s hard to think of one software not connecting to another. But that’s exactly what happens unless the software has an open API.
API—or application programming interface—is essentially the “menu” of what you can order from that software. It allows you to pick what you want without needing to know how to make it. The software has done all the prep work for you and you simply plug in the application. APIs make life a lot easier for developers by letting the platform do the nitty-gritty work, saving the developer valuable code time. Open APIs especially help, since they provide developers with programmatic access to the software or web service.
Because of open APIs, ERP integration is becoming easier than ever before. Open rather than brittle or closed APIs ensure you can connect software through shared programs, enhancing their value and usefulness to your company and providing better service to your customers.
The Value of an Open API
We take open APIs for granted today, but not too long ago, brittle or closed APIs were the norm.
Back in the 1990s, each PC had its own configuration of ports and plugs. Many company IT people vividly remember the days of runs to the electronics store because new equipment needed an 18-pin connector with a 22-pin adaptor or whatever the special configuration needed. Almost every business had a box of miscellaneous adaptors, parts, and plugs sitting somewhere in an office supply closet. iPhone users who had docks and other accessories for the old 30-pin plug can also commiserate.
The same situation may be said of the software world. When companies first starting using software for business support back in the 1990s and early 2000s, they dreamed of connecting different software to create unique combinations to better serve their business. However, if it was possible, it often required custom programming, which added months (and meetings) onto any project.
The development of APIs began to change all that. While an API allows access into a program, brittle APIs—what many companies dealt with in the 1990s—allowed access to the program but not to the data inside the program.
Cloud Gives Way to Rising Demand for Open APIs
The advent of cloud computing was a game-changer for many software companies. The development of open APIs meant that a shared programming language ensured easy and fluent communication between software packages. Cloud-based systems increased demand for open APIs, and now open APIs are common in the software business—except in the ERP world.
ERP manufacturers keep closed APIs do so to maintain control over their product. This control enables them to dictate who can create add-ons and pushes customers to use more and more of their specific software by making it cost and time prohibitive to move outside of their product line. They’re effectively forcing their customers to color inside the lines even if their business requires a creative approach to business software.
Open APIs With Customer-Centric Technology
Acumatica offers cloud ERP integration through open API technology. Thanks to Acumatica’s commitment to customer-centric products, their philosophy of customer-friendly technology, best-in-class products, and forward-thinking technology has resulted in cloud ERP that easily integrates with other software for open data sharing among programs.
With software like Acumatica, open APIs make it easy to share data among customer service, field sales, manufacturing, warehouse, and many other areas of your company. The result is seamless customer service, accurate information, and faster data sharing among programs.
Choosing cloud ERP software should be done with the long view in mind. It’s not something you want to switch often. Acumatica offers ERP software that’s flexible, open, and constantly updating to provide you with the best ERP experience you can find.
When it’s time to select your ERP, start by selecting the right partner. With ASI, you’ll have access to proven business strategies and technology to accelerate your business growth through your ERP and other connected software. Schedule your FREE consultation today.