NewsGetting Started – Developing against an API

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APIs are a hot topic that everyone seems to be talking about. As a concept, it’s exciting, but when it comes to understanding how to leverage an API for business purposes, it can be confusing. To help demystify the API, we’ve tapped our integrations team to share insights and examples of how shippers and delivery companies leverage the API right now.

What is an API and how can it benefit my business?

  • Think of an API like a menu in a restaurant. The menu provides a list of dishes you can order, along with a description of each dish. When you specify what menu items you want, the restaurant’s kitchen does the work and provides you with the finished dishes.
  • Allows for faster innovation, reducing development barriers
  • Enables quicker movement into new business opportunities
  • Makes it easier for trading partners to integrate
  • Saves time and resources, when consumed with reusable automations for future development

Examples of how an API can be used to Integrate

  • Create, read, update and delete driver records from a Driver Management Solution
  • Receive shipments from trading partners
  • Retrieve business intelligence data with third-party tools
  • Connect separate datasets to unify information across all your business applications (pulling together otherwise unconnected data)

Thinking of using the API? Here are a few questions to ask yourself.

  • Do you or your trading partner have developers who can complete the technical pieces of the integration?
  • Have you or your developer read through the documentation, to know what you’ll need to get started?
  • What operational connection do you want to achieve? Or what challenge are you trying to solve?
  • Do you know how to reach Technical Support to get help and ask questions?
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See our article Using the API to Create an Order in 5 Easy Steps to get familiar with the API in action!

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