1. What are the APIs?
What does API mean?
API stands for application programming interface. It is a tool that allows two or more services or products to communicate with each other. Since this communication mainly takes place on the Web, we are specifically talking about Web-APIs, but to simplify we will just call them APIs.
APIs are generally provided by a company (usually a cloud service) to allow third-party developers to access the data contained within the service more directly and quickly using a few simple rules.
API creators offer access points to these complex structures so that it is easier for outsiders to communicate with them.
Think of APIs like waiters in a restaurant. The customer orders off the menu and the waiter goes into the kitchen with the request. The cook then prepares the food and the waiter brings the dish to the customer.
The customer does not need to know how everything works behind the scenes or how the dish was prepared in order to get the desired food. Likewise, developers don’t need to know how products or services are implemented to include their data in apps or to communicate with them.
How are APIs built?
When are APIs used?
As described before, APIs are very useful tools for developers to make their products or services communicate with others. APIs are used in all apps that need to collect information from servers.
Cloud services create their own APIs, which can be used by their customers or third parties to access their platforms or databases more directly as if they were access doors. These doors are called endpoints and each endpoint has a handle.
If we go back to the example of the restaurant , one of the endpoints in the restaurant is the kitchen door and the handle is the food that you find on the menu. If there was no kitchen door, you wouldn’t be able to get your food. If you ask the waiter (API) for something that is not on the menu, your request will simply just be rejected. Each endpoint has specific handles that refer to the data that can be provided at that time or for that part of the system.
Why are APIs used?
APIs are beneficial to both the provider as well as the third party.
Benefits for providers
- APIs allow the provider to reach new users, channels and markets.
For example, a book distributor can develop an API so that websites/apps that collect information from several distributors also collect information from their server. This can open up new business and partnership opportunities.
- APIs increase provider revenue. They are sold on a per transaction or on a fee basis.
- APIs give the company sales advantages: they can enter the market faster and at a lower cost.
- Businesses can focus on their core capabilities and develop unique capabilities at a faster pace.
Benefits for third parties
- Ease for developers (app, website, software, etc.) to integrate external data/processes into their own.
For example, if a developer wants to include weather information in their app, they won’t need to create their own weather station. They can take advantage of existing ones and use the APIs to include the necessary data in their project.
- Ease for developers (app, website, software, etc.) to implement the APIs into the customer’s code (thanks to HTTP calls to endpoints).
Here is a list of some common APIs available: https://www.programmableweb.com/category/all/apis
2. The Pagination APIs
Pagination is proud to introduce Document API. This set of APIs allows you to easily integrate the Pagination process into other processes, streamlining your entire workflow. The Document API is designed to allow users to create their publications faster both in PDF and InDesign Format.
You can automatically create your custom documents from your PIM, ERP, CRM, e-commerce, or data management software without the need to download your data file, access the project folder, and upload the data file to the cloud. Also, there is no need to upload product images to the project folder because the APIs will automatically retrieve them from the URL indicated in the data file. There is no limit to the number of processes started and Pagination can be run 24/7.
The Document API allows you to:
- Create users
- Define projects
- Start the document creation process
- Data Merge
- Stop the process
- Receive status notifications via email or webhook
You can set up process status email notifications, and you can also integrate webhook notifications as a bot channel in messaging apps.
The Document API is ready to be used. There is no need to wait for the project to be configured. You can automatically create your User ID and start creating your documents right away.
Find the Document API and related documents under the following links: