Much is being said about so called APIs, software bridges, mashable technology an other little innocent sounding descriptions like – “our software plays nicely with this software”!
IMO – truth is – there is nothing “nice” about it! Let’s back up a little, what does it all mean?
What it means is this, the software vendors are asking you, the client, to connect their online software to another vendors software, in order to enhance your software functionality – this is a fragmented solution – where you data ends up in multiple places.
There are many reasons why this is being asked of you, some are:
- They do not have the necessary resources, financially or otherwise, to produce a software application that provides a complete “integrated” solution for all the customer’s needs.
- They lack the know how to produce an “integrated solution” and by offering fragmented solutions to the client they try to overcome their short comings.
- They lack the understanding of the dangers to the clients data by following this fragmented approach!
Don’t get me wrong, APIs have their place, we use them to complement our clients experience with our software, but we never share our clients information with third parties or ask them to do so. This, in my view, leaves customers not only at the mercy of the old “It’s not us, it’s their problem!” excuse when things go wrong, but also puts clients data in many different places with often unclear legal and technical implications.
But, worst of all, when these APIs fail, and believe me they do, it can take days to get them fixed and back up running again – during which time the small business suffers financially, time wise because of duplicated work load and performance wise, because everyone is focused on the problem and not on the business.
The only way to go is with “integrated cloud computing“!