Tech Me Out

Tech me out: A beginners guide to APIs

Welcome to our new blog series, ‘Tech Me Out’, aimed at demystifying and explaining some of the technologies and technical terms we encounter and use everyday in the b2b tech PR world.

We’re kicking off with one of the acronyms we come across almost every day, API. We will be honest and admit that although we kind of get it, we aren’t 100% sure what APIs are or what they do.

So, without further ado…

What is an API?

API stands for Application Programming Interface.

An API is a function that allows separate applications, databases and devices to communicate together. Put simply, APIs act as a bridge between different services to enhance their capabilities.

What do they do?

There are different types of APIs that allow for different functionalities but essentially, they enable developers to tap into existing databases, apps and services without having to write the hard code from scratch. APIs can allow companies to leverage existing data and launch new services quicker, and with greater accuracy.

Why should I care about it?

We use APIs daily, probably without noticing. APIs contribute to our overall digital experience, on websites or applications. Without APIs, companies such as Uber wouldn’t be able to use Google Maps services for its taxi ride service. Or consumers would be unable to make restaurant reservations from Google via booking sites such as OpenTable.

Who’s talking about it?

Retail technology company, On the dot, provides deliveries within a one-hour timeslot of the customer’s choice. The APIs used allow the company’s clients, including ASOS and Waitrose, to easily integrate On the dot’s technology into their e-commerce websites and/or their instore EPOS systems. This in turn allows the likes of ASOS and Waitrose to deliver a superior customer experience by providing their own customers with same day, next day and nominated day delivery options.

Useful links:

APIs in telecoms:

APIs in fintech:

APIs in mediatech:

If you are struggling with any technical jargon, or want a simple explanation for that complex tech you are working on, let us know and we will simplify it for you!

Written by Rose Chapman

Get in touch to work with a world-class team of B2B tech marketers

Improve your industry reputation and influence, grow your customers base and drive investment through transformative integrated marketing.