An API for EDI and eCommerce connects everything.
The controversy surrounding Facebook and the information it shares has made API part of many news stories. That’s because the API is how developers get information from the social media site.
But don’t let the unfolding Facebook story give you the wrong idea about APIs. The reality is that the swift, accurate exchange of information is essential in a retail environment that demands speedy reactions to shifting consumer demand. When it comes to your own internal systems, it’s also easy to protect the security of your data.
It’s not an overstatement to say that in today’s economy, connectivity is critical. It’s even more important when it comes to managing EDI transactions and eCommerce orders, and integrating them into the system you use to run your operation. With a robust API, you can do all of that.
Okay, so what is an API anyway?
If you’re a tech person, you know exactly what an API is. But a lot of people who are seeking help with EDI and online order management would rather focus on the products they sell and the brand they want to build. If that describes you, hearing about something called an API makes your eyes glaze over.
API is an acronym that stands for Application Programming Interface. It’s a conduit, gathering information and sharing it with the appropriate applications, databases, and devices. The right one allows data to flow easily, reduces manual data entry, saves valuable time, and prevents errors. By merging order information with other systems, a good API brings everything together.
Think of an API like the menu in a restaurant. There is a list of dishes that are like your programming options. When you decide what you want, the kitchen does the work and the server delivers the finished dishes to your table. You don’t know exactly how the restaurant prepares that food, and you don’t really need to.
Similarly, an API offers a menu of operations that developers can use, along with a description of what they do. The developer doesn’t necessarily need to know, for example, exactly how an operating system builds and presents a SAVE AS dialog box. The developer just needs to know that it’s available.
This might be an oversimplification but it gives you some idea. APIs save time because developers can use the built-in implementation system to do the detail work. This means developers don’t have to reinvent the wheel with new code, and it’s easier to integrate with the system — an ERP, WMS or accounting software — that the company already uses.
For programmers, an API is an invaluable resource, giving them the building blocks they need to build an intuitive, customized interface, and deliver the digital shopping experience that people expect. Behind every robust online sales platform, for example, there is a hardworking API that makes everything possible.
Get the speed you need.
The Lingo API handles all kinds of tasks quickly and automatically. It starts with the actual order — our API lets you accept new orders and automatically import the information to the ERP you use. You can also share it with your inventory software, so you can keep track of the products you have available.
Consider shipping — as you pack shipments and create labels, information is automatically sent back to Lingo so everything is updated. And if you have ever wanted to make GS1-128 labels and custom packing slips automatically, you can do that with our API.
What’s more, our API isn’t just for EDI. Our API brings orders from major online channels like Amazon, Jet.com, or Shopify into your system, and merges the information with your EDI transactions.
The bottom line on our API? Whether you’re building an automated data sharing tool to improve accuracy and efficiency, or you’re creating a powerful, completely embedded EDI application, you can save time and resources using the Lingo API.