APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) are a set of functions through which applications are able to communicate with other software components, microservices, and operating systems to share data and information.

In simpler terms, a user sends a request to a system that is delivered by an API. In return, the system sends back a response, still using the same API, to the user.

For example, you reserve a hotel room, an API will tell the booking system about your booking information which then updates the booking system’s calendar to indicate that the room is booked for that particular date.

How APIs Support App Developers

If you pay a keen eye on application development today, you will realize that it would be miles behind and slow if it was not for APIs. They (APIs) have made life easy for developers while at the same time helping them lead innovations that are changing our everyday life.

When building an application, developers do not have to start coding from scratch. They can build on existing APIs that offer the functionality that they are looking for while at the same time focusing on other things with regard to the application they are building.

Weather APIs

Take for instance a developer who is building an application for a company to handle its employees’ travel schedules. One of the requirements might include having weather functionality for the employees to know the expected weather conditions of their travel destinations. This would be a lot of work for the developers, but due to these free weather APIs, developers will just need to implement one of them and get what they need. They will actually save a lot of time that they would have spent writing the complete code from scratch. But if you don’t want to save money on quality, check the best weather API pricing, and choose the one for your needs to stay satisfied with top-notch service.

Social Media Login

I am sure you have visited websites that allow one to create an account or log in with their social media accounts such as Facebook, Google, Twitter, or even LinkedIn. Have you ever asked yourself how this works?

First of all, it is important to note that these applications do not log into the users’ accounts. This would bring an issue with the security of those social media accounts. Instead, the websites implement these particular social media APIs and use them to authenticate users logging in or creating their accounts. The users have to confirm that they want to sign up or log in using that particular social media account.

Travel and Hotel Booking

If you have ever booked a hotel room or a flight, you might have used a site that has different hotels and flight companies and probably wondered how they were able to collect all that information or rather said the developers must have had a really difficult time building such a system.

Well, as much as we appreciate the work done by developers, this is made possible by APIs. Developers use APIs to collect all the flight and hotel information that they show on the booking website. When a customer books a flight or even a hotel room, the same API is used to check the availability of the flight or the hotel room from the source. Once this is confirmed, you are then notified. This might sound like a long process but it is not.Finally, once you have made a booking, you proceed to make payment. You might choose to pay using online payment merchants such as PayPal. This is also done using APIs. App developers implement a Pay with PayPal API that is secure to use and that will not leave the users’ PayPal accounts exposed. App development is an important part of the world today, and we all use apps to make our lives simpler. Fortunately, APIs have made this easy.

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Technological must haves
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Keep Your Business Competitive With These Technological Must-Haves

Running a business in 2016 is a fascinating and complex endeavour. The truth is, the world of business is unlike it has ever been before. Not only is it more competitive than ever, but the rules seem to be getting looser and looser.

If you want to succeed in business today, you need to know how to adapt continually to a changing environment. As long as you remain fair, and consistent in your vision, you can do more or less whatever you please. And that is very good news indeed for anyone looking after a company.

Part of the process of keeping up-to-date with the world of business is taking on the latest technologies. This doesn’t mean that you have to religiously follow every new trend. Indeed, if you did, people would likely think less of you and your business as a result. But it does mean that you should be taking advantage of what technology is available.

At the end of the day, you should be using whatever is available to make your business a viable competitive force in the world today. But nor is it just about being competitive. It also makes little sense to ignore certain technological advances. If they are cost-effective, and they provide a means for you to do what you do quicker and easier – then that’s just good business.

With that in mind, let’s have a look at some of the top technological must-haves for your business this year.

Productivity tools

One of the most important aspects of running a business is ensuring that your time, and your staff’s time, is used effectively. After all, you are paying them their wage – you need to make sure that you are getting your money’s worth.

That’s why it’s important to keep their productivity high. This is just good business. Fortunately, there is technology available which enables you to make the most of the time spent in the office.

Programs such as OneNote allow you to keep a much more organised digital workspace. This is great news. Too much of our time at work is wasted on trying to find the right documents for any given task.

With OneNote, you have a user-friendly, easy way of keeping everything together which needs to be together. That way, you can spend more time working.

Even if you just make this change for your own computer, your business will see a dramatic improvement in its productivity levels. Not only that, but you can use that same software to keep tabs on the productivity of your employees. How’s that for a versatile piece of software?

The cloud

Long gone are the days when you would have to copy over files from one computer to another. Thank goodness – we all remember the hassle of having to email files, or put them on a flash drive. And if the files were too big, then it could prove to be a real nightmare.

Flash drives have their place, of course. But for a sprawling business which is only set on growing bigger, they do not serve all that much purpose. Any growing business needs a method of transferring files which is fast and easy to use. It is also a huge benefit if location doesn’t matter at all.

Part of the reason for this is that growing businesses often need to have more than one location in which to do their business. If you have started kitting out a second office, then you might be worrying about data transference.

Don’t – with the cloud, it’s no problem at all. The cloud allows you to have all your files available on any connected device, immediately. There are not even any transfer times, because it is just waiting at your disposal for you to connect to.

This is the kind of technology that business has been waiting for for many years. A few years ago, this would have seemed like a dream. Now it’s a dream come true.

The main beauty of the cloud is that it is easy to use. But even if you – or any members of staff – are struggling with it, then don’t worry. There is always a helping hand available. Consider icloud sign in for all your cloud needs. Chances are, you will have your answer in moments.

Social media

Any business owner worth their weight in salt knows the overbearing importance of marketing. The way you put your business forward into the public view says a lot about your enterprise. It also dictates, to a large extent, how successful you are likely to be as a company.

Marketing should be considered as one of the primary arms of your business. Of course, the methods involved in marketing are varied. And with the advent of certain technological advances, marketing is now more effective than ever. Nowhere is this plainer than in the world of social media.

Social media is a real godsend for business owners in today’s world. With social media, you have a tool which enables you to get your message directly into people’s homes (and pockets). Not only that, but you don’t even have to pay a penny. Unless you want to, of course, in which case, it is even more effective.

Social media allow you to project your brand image however you like, day and night, to millions upon millions of people all around the globe. Never before has there been a marketing tool so immediately effective. Truly, any business would be insane not to consider social media a central part of their marketing strategy.

If you run a business, and you want it to be a competitive force in today’s world, then getting engaged in social media is an absolute must. Ensure that your business has accounts on all the main sites.

But more than that – use them! The key to successful social marketing is a lively, healthy interactivity with the general public. Take the opportunity to present your company in a bold and exciting manner. The people will find it hard to forget your brand in a hurry – and that is the name of the game.

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