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29 Apr

API Integration Methods and Web Services -- What Are They? How Can They Elevate Your Business?

The science of API integration (API stands for Application Programming Interface) is somewhat like making a spare bit in your garage to go with an electric screwdriver, using the manufacturers'' instructions to do so. Much the same way, web design firms like folio1 use their expertise to build custom parts to go with web site tools and toolsets like online maps, social media, invoices, calendars, search engines, image collections, etc., to name but a few examples; more are shown on the January 2012 issue of websitemagazine.com. This process of building custom bits for some kind of tool or service on the web is, loosely speaking, the science of API integration.

Successful API integration leads to customer-friendly and revenue generating web services. These services are built on to a web site in order to do things like let your customers fill out forms and make purchases, allow your customers to connect to their favorite social media, help your customers find directions to your business, have your customers enjoy a great video or photo gallery, etc.

Web services fall into two main categories, according to Praveen Macherla writing in the June 5, 2012 issue of theopentutorials.com, "Big" web services and "RESTful" web services. The major difference is that "Big" web services usually come with an extra set of instructions (called a WSDL file; WSDL stands for Web Services Description Language) and require that extra measures be put in place in order to ensure that communication between the user and the web service is maintained properly. RESTful web services need only the simpler HTTP commands and do not require WSDLs or other messages or instructions for the purpose of maintaining proper communication, performing security checks, etc., since RESTful web services are designed to handle simpler tasks -- generally speaking.

There is much more to say about the power of API integration and web services development. Please contact us to find more information on how these amazing methods can lift your business higher.

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