I’m not sure if you’ve noticed, but lot of people are talking about APIs. But what are they and why should you – or anyone – care about them?
APIs are built to allow different applications to talk with one another. The idea is to make each product more useful and usable by leveraging the useful and usable pieces of other products.
Here at The Studio, we’re doing our best to do just that. As you spend more time doing work in apps, we want to make sure that the information you’re working with (i.e. a lead’s status in your pipeline or contact information) can be leveraged across all the apps where it would be most helpful.
For example, in Prospect Square, which helps Coldwell Banker NRT agents stay in touch with their various circles and prospective clients, an agent can set up syncing so that contacts sitting in their Google account can be pushed to Prospect Square and vice versa. Or in InTouch, an agent CRM, any leads coming from our lead management system are automatically entered as leads. It’s APIs that do the heavy lifting here.
How exactly does this work? Who cares? That’s what APIs are so good at: Surfacing the information you need when you need it, without having to upload or download anything. Imagine creating a hilarious snap on Snapchat in a world without APIs – which means you can’t add your Bitmoji character to the snap. Would we even use Snapchat anymore?
Let’s take that example above. Bitmoji is a product with its own data, your personal Bitmoji. And Snapchat is a separate product with its own data: your saved stories, your contacts, etc. APIs act as a bridge between the two products. Snapchat needs the data that defines how your Bitmoji looks, but not much else. Bitmoji doesn’t really need your saved stories (let’s keep it that way). Both apps get the data they need and then you get the experience you want.
Looking ahead, APIs are unlikely to go away. And that’s good for everyone! It means we can better serve agents as our products integrate and work with the tools they use each day.