Software integrations

Why Open APIs allow easier data access 

The integration of legacy systems and disparate software platforms is often achieved with APIs, Application Programming Interfaces. OpenAPIs permit our partners to connect customers with ABAX data.

Open APIs offer a competitive advantage, and a better customer experience. 

Customers often use a wide range of different tools to run their businesses. They have found that ABAX’s OpenAPIs deliver a competitive advantage. Take, for example, the experience of Charlie Tennant – the managing director of Servu:

With our OpenAPI, you will be able to integrate ABAX data with your own at no extra cost. 

Charlie Tennant, Servu

Integration enables companies to improve and manage their service process, creating better value-added propositions for customers. The ABAX Open API enables access to information about equipment, vehicles, trips and drivers on behalf of ABAX User or ABAX Customer's organisation. APIs are categorised as open APIs (Public APIs) and closed APIs.

What are OpenAPIs?

The philosophy behind Open Source Software is better understood. However, in a similar way OpenAPIs are accessible to third-party developers, business partners, customers, and other external parties via the internet. Techtarget explains that they permit integration and improved data sharing between outward-facing applications and software systems. 

An open API, also called public API, is an application programming interface made publicly available to software developers. Open APIs are published on the internet and shared freely, allowing the owner of a network-accessible service to give universal access to consumers. 

What are Closed APIs?

APIs that are not publicly released to third-party developers, business partners, customers, and other external parties via the internet, are called Closed APIs. You will find that they are also referred to as dark APIs. 

Access to Closed APIs is typical via a virtual private network (VPN), behind a firewall. They are used to integrate line-of-business applications with business-critical internally sensitive data, and with back-end systems. So, their focus is on highly secure environments that don’t allow access to any form of public user authentication. All the resources within these APIs therefore originate from highly secured and trusted locations.

ABAX open API for a unified customer experience

How these APIs differ

From the underlying capabilities and process-building perspective, there are no fundamental differences between OpenAPIs and Cloud APIs. For both, developers can use SOAP, REST and other common API design models to build both one or the other. Operationally, regardless of whether they are open or closed, APIs will integrate with API gateways, monitoring dashboards, and standard management tools. 

Developers and architects should nevertheless consider factors such as API security, developer usability, versioning processes and error handling. Each one of these can determine whether an organisation chooses an open or a closed API. 

Another deciding factor is the ability to access OpenAPIs that have fewer access restrictions but are still secured, via the web, to maintain source code. Open APIs are also capable of providing user-specific services and can also be integrated with third-party applications.

Looking for a shop on Google Maps via a particular website? To show the location of the store, and to provide directions to it, the company will use the API of Google Maps.

Why adopt APIs for your SaaS business

APIs are commonly used across all business verticals. With regard to SaaS verticals, APIs are used to develop a platform or upgrade the existing environment, or for digital transformation. Open APIs offer enormous advantages at a time when there are sophisticated features and tools available and in use. From the creation of a greater competitive advantage to more efficient processes and better customer experiences APIs offer a range of possibilities.

OpenAPI Benefits 

API source code is maintained by the organisations that produce APIs. They offer significant benefits to API publishers and developers. They include the ability for publishers to expand their customer base with OpenAPIs by building industry-level software.  Third-party developers can earn by licensing the new program.  

OpenAPIs don’t require disparate developer teams to rely upon each other.  

With OpenAPIs organisations can save time. Front-end and back-end systems integration is enabled, as well as with other applications. Developers are free to use their preferred tools whenever they work with OpenAPIs. 

How ABAX integrations work

Key advantages that an OpenAPI offers, including for SaaS solutions, are mentioned below:

  • Gain a higher return on investment 
    Lower investment is required for SaaS solutions API management. Operational Costs (OPEX) are low when compared to the traditional on-premise platform. Also, most SaaS solutions these days only charge depending on the services used.
  • Easily manageable
    SaaS vendors don’t have to set up the API environment nor focus on configuring or managing solutions. API providers offer pre-configured solutions to meet your needs. API solutions also enable seamless integration with other applications or solutions irrespective of the location of the main server.
  • Flexibility
    SaaS providers keep customer satisfaction in mind. They offer 24/7 support via mail or live chat to assist customers with any issues. SaaS-based API management solutions are helpful in computing resource utilisation. Based on the usage, companies can scale up or scale down.

    SaaS-based API management solutions are being adopted by companies across the globe. So, it’s important to implement an effective API management platform that can offer numerous advantages to your business. API providers often offer flexible payment methods, market their services at very low starting prices. Some of the most popular payment methods are charging only for the services offered as the pay-as-you-go model. 
  • Security
    Security is a major consideration when utilising open APIs. The security issues can be addressed by implementing hybrid API solutions. These APIs can then be accessed using VPNs and Virtual Private Clouds (VPCs). They can also tighten backend security.

According to a report from MarketsandMarkets, the API management market that includes API platform, analytics, security and implementation, will generate revenue of around $1.5 billion by 2023 with a CAGR of 32% from 2018 to 2023.

Open API drawbacks

Open APIs offer great advantages. However, they also come with disadvantages. 

Software bugs are always a scourge, and so the open-source nature of OpenAPIs is no different. Bugs can cause software and systems errors. These can lead to downtime, make processes inefficient, or in rare circumstances errors can affect your company’s reputation. It’s therefore vital to consider the following:

  1.     All APIs, whether open or closed, should not contain software bugs.  
  2.     APIs must be able to perform well and fulfill their purpose.
  3.     Security flaws in APIs should be eliminated to ensure that users’ data is not compromised. 
  4.     Access to users’ private data must be secure and comply with data protection regulations.

The ability to identify a flaw in an API doesn’t guarantee that because it’s open, for example, it can be fixed. The API provider might have restricted the access.

API providers are free to change their terms of use. This may involve a licensing fee increase, or the removal of tools there were already available in free versions, Such changes could make it difficult for a third-party developer to further utilise the API. 

OpenAPIs: Great for SaaS-based businesses

Open APIs are absolutely beneficial for SaaS-based startups and SMEs as they could develop their company and business without having to invest in developing on-premise tools and resources. But it is advisable to think twice before completely relying on open APIs. With proper security measures, open APIs can make your business highly collaborative with others to form new opportunities in the business vertical.

Need learn more about ABAX OpenAPIs for your integration project? 

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