According to the State of API Integration Report 2020, 83% of the respondents consider API integrations as a critical part of their business.
The importance of APIs is indeed growing year by year, as modern users expect to have a seamless experience across all their digital products. This is the task API delivers on.
In this article, we will discuss what an API is and how it relates to your DAM system. In the next article, we will look at how you and your business can benefit from using APIs, as well as where to start.
Cover photo by Christin Hume on Unsplash.
What is an API?
API stands for Application Programming Interface. You can think of it as a number of“connectors”. APIsmake it possible to connect one product or service with another, so they can exchange information.
Another way to think about an API is as an interpreter that helps two systems understand each other.
An example you may be familiar with is what happens when you sign into a website with your social media account: The website then uses an API to ‘talk’ to the social media platform, validate your credentials and log you in.
Without an API, communicating and exchanging this information may still be possible. However, it would require muchmore time and effort of a developer to write such code.
This brings us to one of the benefits of APIs: They help to easily create or improve existing products. By using APIs, a developer doesn’t need to understand the inner workings of the systemthey are connecting to. This speeds up the development time and, ultimately, saves costs.
It is important to know about API release policies:
Private API (open only for internal use within the organization that developed it)
API for partners (available for business partners of the organization)
Public or external API (open for everyone)
The API can also be free or paid. Let’s go back to the previous example of signing in to a website using a social media account. Big social media platforms, such as Twitter, provide a public and free API. This means that every developer can use these APIs to connect their product to Twitter.
APIs for Digital Asset Management Systems
After learning what an API is, you might be wondering how it can be applied to a DAM system, such as FotoWare. And do you really needit?
A FotoWare DAM system functions perfectly well out-of-the-box, as it were. However, with the addition of the API, you can greatly extend the functionality of your FotoWareand, ultimately, get a better return on investment.
What if you need a customized connection?
Let’s take a simple example.
Every FotoWare plan includes the Microsoft Office Plugin that enables you to use assetsfrom FotoWare directly within Microsoft PowerPoint or Word via a side panel.
This is possible because the Office plugins use APIs that connect two systems — FotoWare and Microsoft Office.As we now know, API “translates” the communication between the DAM and Office.
The Microsoft Office Plugin is included in your FotoWare, and you don’t need to write a single line of code to use it.Thus, it can be consideredan out-of-the-box solution.
What if I need a customized connection?
Let’s take another example.
Let’s say you are using FotoWare to store and manage all your media files. If you also have a CMS (Content Management System), it makes sense to integrate FotoWare with it.
This way, when writing content in your CMS, you can easily search, find, and insert pictures, graphics and artwork from the FotoWare system directly into the CMS.This means you always have access to your collection of media files.
It’s easy to integrate your FotoWare with a CMS using the FotoWare API.