What is a Unified API? How Does It Benefit the eCommerce Industry?

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unified API

As the B2B SaaS world continues to grow, the number of APIs available in the market is increasing substantially. With the surge in the number of APIs, the challenges associated with the integration of these APIs with SaaS applications are equally on the rise.

To cope with the demand, the need for a unified API has become evident for most SaaS vendors in the industry. If you are one such SaaS vendor willing to solve your integration challenges with a unified API, keep reading to know more about such APIs and the ways to partner with one.

The article talks about APIs, unified APIs, and the latter’s benefits for the eCommerce industry.

What are APIs?

An API or application programming interface is a set of programs written to establish communication between two different applications to enable them to transfer data.

For example, in the eCommerce industry, B2B SaaS applications like inventory management solutions, warehouse management systems, shipping solutions, etc., need data from eCommerce platforms to make their software perform its core operations. Such access to data is possible only with the help of integration with eCommerce platforms’ APIs.

What is a unified API?

A unified API helps you connect with multiple APIs at once without facing the hassle of integrating with each of them one by one.

When integrating with an API, a developer must understand its architecture and its intricacies. Besides, the time, money, and resources needed to establish the integration are significant for an organization’s other business operations. If the developers spend them one by one when connecting with multiple APIs, the organization is left with nothing!

To avoid such a situation, the concept of unified API fits perfectly into the big picture. Because you just have to connect with the unified API, it will establish integration with all your desired APIs in one go. In this way, the developers are saved from the hard task of learning different APIs from the inside out, and the organizations can save their hard-earned money and resources.

Considering the same example of eCommerce platform integrations, the SaaS vendors have to connect with all the platforms’ APIs on which their clients have their e-stores. Now, rather than establishing integration with each platform, they can integrate with a unified API, and the latter will do the needful.

Examples of Unified APIs

The market is flooded with unified APIs across a variety of industries. Some of them are listed below in accordance with their industries. Take a look.

Travel

Duffel provides the most popular API in the travel industry. It helps travel businesses search, book, and manage flights across 18+ airlines. Its comprehensive documentation allows performing all the desired functions without any external help. Duffel’s unified API facilitates it all, from seat selection to making flight bookings and management changes.

Accounting

Validis leads the accounting industry when it comes to providing the “world’s most intelligent accounting integrations.” Its unified API helps the financial institutions manage their clients’ accounting data seamlessly so the former can accelerate decision-making, make operations efficient, and improve their customers’ journey throughout their lifecycle.

Validis facilitates intelligent decision-making, full coverage of accounting integrations, standardization of processing clients’ data, enterprise-grade deployment options, and unparalleled accounting expertise.

Cloud Storage

Kloudless provides a seamless unified API to help you streamline cloud storage without the hassle of integrating with multiple APIs. It has a collection of more than 150 APIs that are useful for businesses of all types. Its collection includes APIs from different categories like cloud storage, CRM, calendar, email, ITSM (IT Service Management), and chat.

Kloudless also eliminates the tedious API maintenance process, unifies various endpoints across multiple SaaS APIs, and offers real-time monitoring.

Calendar

Nylas is the most popular unified API for users to connect their applications with multiple calendars, email, and contacts application providers. It offers two-way email syncing and sending, contacts syncing, and built-in features for enhanced management of email, calendar, and contacts.

It serves businesses across industries, including HR, real estate, customer service, sales, finance, and legal. Nylas also saves users from building features from scratch, reduces launch time for businesses, and provides solutions with enhanced reliability.

Healthcare APIs

Redox’s unified API is designed for healthcare product vendors to streamline their EHR integrations.

The network of Redox is so powerful that it enables to connect with multiple provider organizations “from large academic medical centers to small practices” while simplifying the process of adding new ones.

Payment APIs

Payment system integrations reside at the heart of the eCommerce industry, and Checkout.com’s unified API leaves no stones unturned in fulfilling the demands of the industry leaders.

Businesses can leverage transactions in multiple currencies and payment methods with just one integration.

The Role of a Unified API in the eCommerce Industry

We have already seen a glimpse of the essence of a unified API in the eCommerce industry. Let’s look into it in more detail.

Developing integrations with multiple eCommerce platforms and maintaining them throughout their lifecycle are tedious, time-consuming, and money-eating tasks. They consume the time and energy of the developers while leaving SaaS businesses bankrupt.

Integration with a unified API saves the hassle because it prevents the developers from studying the methodologies and architectures of different APIs. Moreover, it improves your chances of adding new functionality to your SaaS applications without getting into trouble with developing all the integrations manually.

The traditional way of integration can prevent the SaaS vendors from concentrating and improving on their core product as most of their time, money, and resources are being spent on developing integrations, paying salaries to their developers, and looking after the upgrades and maintenance of these integrations. This contrasts with a unified API that does all the work for you from development to maintenance.

One such unified API is API2Cart which allows eCommerce software vendors to connect their SaaS applications with more than 40 eCommerce platforms and marketplaces in one go. These platforms include Amazon, eBay, Shopify, WooCommerce, BigCommerce, etc. So the vendors just have to integrate their software with AP2Cart, and the latter will connect your software with all the eCommerce platforms of your choice in one go.

Let’s understand the benefit of this integration with the help of an example.

Consider a product information system that needs a list of products from a client’s store based on Amazon, Shopify, and Magento. Now, if you have established manual integrations with these platforms as a SaaS vendor, your software will have to send individual requests to all three platforms, to which all of them will send responses with the list of products. You can imagine the time it will take to do so.

If you have used API2Cart’s unified API to integrate with the platforms, your software will send a single request to API2Cart, which will then pass on these requests to all three platforms. The latter will share the responses with API2Cart’s unified API, and it will convert them into a unified response and send it to your software. This way, you are saved from the hassle of doing it on your own.

Such is the case with all the eCommerce SaaS applications willing to integrate with eCommerce platforms.

A unified API plays a significant role in the eCommerce industry by streamlining and unifying the process of API integration. In addition, it prevents SaaS vendors from spending their precious time and money on tedious tasks.

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Sidharth

Professional Blogger. Android dev. Audiophile.

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