Why APIs Are Important For Interactive Experiences
I wrote about this on our new Scoop.it page - take a look! - but I wanted to mention it here as well. Late last week, ReadWrite posted an article describing what an API is and why we should care. My guess is that some of you have already fallen asleep. Unfortunately for you, they’re not kidding. Even us non-developers need to be API aware. Let me explain.
[For you Scoop.it readers out there, pardon some repetition.]
One of the most ominous expressions I hear in talking with prospects is “I just need something simple.” In my experience, there is an inverse relationship between perceived complexity on the part of the customer and actual complexity in terms of our software. Having an interactive Web browser still doesn’t fail to thrill an IntuiFace user. “Wait! We can browse the Web?!?” But then we’ll be asked, “That’s awesome! Now, tell me about the search functions you supply for identifying customer information in our backoffice…” Well I won’t even finish that sentence.
IntuiFace can’t be in the business of creating prepackaged business services. There are infinite varieties and even subtle conceptual differences could have a huge impact on the underlying code. It would be crazy for us to even try. However, we get that today’s modern experiences will need to access external business logic to process user input and/or return updated information.
(Example uses? A retail kiosk always displaying the latest price, inventory availability and size options. A company/school directory enabling employee/professor look-up with building location. A training quiz with up-to-the-minute question and answer changes. A trade show info collection form sends an email to each prospect. And so on.)
To solve this disconnect - people need access to business services while IntuiLab can’t be in the business of building them - we created the “interface” concept. An “interface” acts as a bridge between your IntuiFace experience and external business logic. Any REST-based or C# DLL-based business logic can be called. (We also support Excel using the same concept.) How? By using public APIs exposed by those services. For more information, check the Intuiface Help Center about general concepts of the Interface Asset.
This is why APIs are important for all of us. And the beauty of our interface concept is that while inside Composer, you don’t deal with APIs, you just deal with their in-product representations: triggers and properties. How cool is that?