What is an API?
The API, or Automated Programing Interface, has become an indispensable part of modern IIoT. Though the concept has been around for 50 years, modern web REST APIs have become massively more important. As a non-IT person involved with your company’s web and IoT efforts, some familiarity with APIs will open up valuable opportunities you may be missing.
The use of IoT and web interfaces has become integral to many business processes that reach across boundaries within companies and to customers and various business partners. The need for the software and systems supporting these processes to exchange data has become much more important. To oversimplify wildly, APIs are specialized web tools with procedures and protocols allowing programs to share data. When well designed, APIs enable different software systems, interfaces, and hardware devices to exchange data automatically and securely.
If you need to transfer data from your ERP system to a distributor’s CRM, for example, an API “call” is probably the easiest and most secure way to do it. The ERP system has an API that can securely access the needed data through a “call” by the distributor’s CRM system. The details of the API call ensure that security and identification requirements are met. Your ERP isn’t wide open to distributors or random internet traffic, and the distributor has a well-defined, cost-effective way to get the data they need.
APIs, IoT, and IIoT
As commercial and industrial IoT has become more sophisticated, ease of use and simple setup have become critical. Modern web APIs play a central role in this. Hardware devices talk to one another via API and require far less setup time than in the past. Enterprise software of all sorts use APIs to share data without doing specific custom software integrations. Cloud applications for IIoT and web interfaces use APIs for security purposes, allowing interactions with a broad range of other players.
At Scante, our IoT/CX systems for machine builder OEMs, industrial service companies, and dedicated IIoT companies use our REST API extensively. The API secures all access to the system, ensuring that users have the proper software credentials, encryption, and data rights. It serves up precisely the data intended without exposing back-end infrastructure.
Our customers use the Scante API to securely integrate data with their enterprise systems like ERP and CRM. API calls can also be configured to share selected IoT data, service data, product data, and more with distribution partners and end-user customers.
What We’re Working On
Interestingly, we’re developing custom API functions that allow seamless interactions with strategic partners, sharing IoT data, analytics, and content as a product to be re-used or re-sold without compromising IP or branding.
If your business and IIoT efforts might benefit from Scante’s API capabilities, let’s schedule a time to discuss your needs.