CPaaS Fundamentals: What is an API?
Enterprises and consumers are increasingly dependent upon the ubiquitous API to deliver data, capabilities, and communications to keep them moving forward – so what is an API?
Applications are big business. According to Statista, the largest application marketplace (Google Play) has over 2 million apps available for download right now. Combine that number with the fact that over two-thirds of developers rely on an application programming interface (API) to create new apps.
It’s All About Communication
At its most basic level an API allows applications to communicate with one another. For example, an application wants to access another application’s data or functionality, such as all tweets with the Twitter hashtag #CPaaS. Rather than obtaining a static data set in the form of a spreadsheet, the API allows the application to send automatic queries.
Why is it important? An API brokers access to different applications, providing functionality or access to data. This data is used by applications like mapping, weather, messaging, and other tools used by millions of consumers each day.
How it Works
Since there is no user interface or backend database, all actions are performed by sending an HTTP request to a server. Like server side apps built with Java, Ruby, PHP, JS via node or another language, URLs trigger route handlers to issue actions when they receive a request for data.
By leveraging the data gathering capabilities of APIs, developers can build useful enterprise-grade applications that help businesses to meet their goals. Some examples include:
- Appointment Scheduling
- Two-Factor Authentication (2FA)
- Interactive Voice Response (IVR)
- Short Message Service (SMS)
- And More
From accessing up-to-the-minute flight data with a simple text or voice command, to ordering coffee for the team, APIs deliver the services and capabilities that power success.
Going Beyond the API
Rather than floating adrift in a sea of APIs, enterprises are partnering with their communications service providers to better serve their customers. In a world where customer experience is the only real differentiator, communications platform as a service (CPaaS) ensures that enterprises can connect with their clients on their preferred channel.
CPaaS is a means to offer an open API-based development environment to businesses of all sizes, allowing them to build custom business applications to improve their customer experience and better secure their data.
In this recorded webinar we explore opportunities for CPaaS, explain how service providers can integrate CPaaS into their existing networks and review a live customer case study of CPaaS in action.