API (Application Programming Interface)


A set of protocols and tools for building software applications that interact with each other. APIs allow different systems to share data and functionality, enabling a more connected and efficient commerce ecosystem.

Retail and Digital Commerce businesses require a lot of different applications to work efficiently. These systems require timely and accurate interaction to deliver value to end user. This is achieved with the help of APIs that transfer data seamlessly to perform different business processes be it inventory information, or order status for executing BOPIS (Buy online and Pick-up In Store) scenarios.


There are different types of APIs:

  • Web APIs: These APIs are accessed over the web using protocols like HTTP and REST. (REST stands for Representational State Transfer, a popular web API design style.)
  • REST APIs: The most common type, using web standards for communication (think HTTP requests and responses).
  • SOAP APIs: An older standard using XML for data exchange, often used in enterprise systems.
  • Remote Procedure Calls (RPC APIs): These APIs allow applications to directly call functions on other applications as if they were local functions.
  • Local APIs:  These APIs provide a way for applications to interact with components within the same operating system or device.
  • Database APIs:  These APIs enable applications to access and manipulate data stored in a database.
  • Internal APIs: APIs used for communication within a single organization’s applications.
  • Partner APIs: APIs used for communication between different organizations’ applications.


Benefits of APIs

  • Faster Development: APIs allow developers to leverage existing functionalities instead of building everything from scratch, saving time and resources.
  • Improved Functionality: By integrating with other applications through APIs, businesses can offer a wider range of features and services to their users.
  • Increased Scalability: APIs enable applications to handle growing data volumes and user bases by seamlessly connecting with additional resources.
  • Enhanced User Experience: APIs help create a smooth and integrated user experience by allowing applications to share data and functionalities transparently.
  • Enhanced Innovation: By opening up data and functionalities through APIs, companies foster innovation and collaboration within their ecosystem.
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