If you've ever researched ERP software, you've encountered the acronym API. You may have read that APIs are essential to external data access. This is certainly a true statement. However, if you have questions as to why this is true, let's begin by asking the following:

What is API and what does it mean to ERP?

An Application Program Interface (API) defines the way software and external programs interact. In Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), APIs are necessary to ensuring that the ERP application data is accessible to other programs. 

To put it another way, an API is the middleman between ERP and a program requesting data. The API receives the request and returns the specific data so long as the request has the appropriate permissions. The API also controls what data can be requested and how it is received.

 

APIs are not a new invention. No matter what computing device you use, APIs make it possible to move information between programs. Moving data from Word to Excel, signing into apps and websites using a Facebook ID, storing your game's progress to the Dropbox cloud, each of these is an example of an API at work. The reason APIs are so common is simple: an API allows a program's internal functions to share data without revealing all of the source software's code which saves time and reduces security risk.

In the realm of ERP software, APIs function exactly the same. APIs are utilized by a customer's chosen third party vendors to provide expanded features using ERP data. Some examples of these types of API include:

  • Dashboard visualizations in Business Intelligence (BI)
  • Interface for E-commerce ordering and shipping
  • Connectivity to mobile applications

This is just the tip of the API iceberg. Discover the range of API process capabilities and questions you need to ask third party API providers by reading the full article our website!

After reading our API article, we invite you to also learn the importance of EDI (Electronic Data Interchange).

APIs are important to many customers of our innovative turnkey ERP-ONE software for E-commerce and business intelligence. Still have questions about how APIs talk to ERP? Talk to us—we'll be happy to give you the answers you need. Reach us at 856.380.0629 or info@distone.com

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