3rd Party API Integration [Benefits, Our Experience, How-To]

8 min read
Oct 06, 2021
3rd Party API Integration [Benefits, Our Experience, How-To]
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What is a Third-party API?

According to the name, a third-party API means a special program that connects functionalities from different apps. It is provided by a third-party, usually (but not necessarily) large enterprises, to enable you to access their data or software functionalities on your website or application.

An example of this is when a ride-hailing app, such as Uber, integrates a Map functionality from an app like Google Maps to track rides. By implementing a third-party API, Uber saves time on building map functionality from scratch.

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Top 7 Most Popular Third-party API

Examples This is a third-party API list of popular examples in common usage both on mobile apps and web apps.

1. Google Analytics

Google Analytics is a popular tool for tracking and collecting information on website visitors. It is useful for digital marketers and SEO experts and it is often integrated into marketing and CRM solutions.

2. Google Maps

Google Maps is, no doubt, the most popular geolocation API, especially for third-party API in Android devices. From ride-hailing apps to online games and even retail companies, Google Maps is widely used across various industries and business leaders trying to create a transportation app.

life before google maps mem

3. Facebook Login

For businesses whose apps require some form of login and want to avoid data duplication, among the most preferred third-party API examples for user authentication is Facebook Login. It is useful for account creation and data sharing. It’s a particularly popular choice for online game developers.

4. YouTube

Most webmasters prefer to embed videos on their sites via YouTube. For one, it helps to easily track numbers and integrate YouTube analytics directly from blog visits. It also reduces the server load on your website since the video remains hosted on YouTube.

original youtube mem

5. Stripe and PayPal

APIs from Stripe and PayPal are among the most common tools for integrating payments into web and mobile applications. They also enable businesses to issue invoices, track payments, and maintain secure records.

6. Skyscanner

This is another business tool popular among companies in the travel industry. The Flights API from Skyscanner is useful for getting flight details, monitoring ticket prices, and even managing revenue.

7. Screen Time

Recently, Apple made its Screen Time API accessible to third-party developers and apps. One of the immediate obvious benefits of this move was granting access to better parental controls for users.

How Does a 3rd Party API Work?

To understand how a 3rd party API works, we must first differentiate it from a first-party API. The latter is designed for internal purposes, while the former is an interface that allows you to connect your app to services from other companies.

api for third party integration

An API is a reusable communication interface/medium between two apps; it creates shared functionalities and enables seamless, regulated data sharing. In the third-party case, the owner develops an app functionality as an API so that other apps can plug into their app features. To achieve this, integration code is made public as well as documentation concerning its implementation.

Key Benefits of Using a Third-party API

Efficiency

Before now, every new app maker had to build all its functionalities from scratch. However, now, software developers can take advantage of third-party APIs to access functionalities that would have otherwise taken time and effort to build. Therefore, a 3rd party API integration helps to save cost, time, and effort.

3rd party api integration mem

Avoid Data-Duplication

Google Sign-in enables several apps to use OAuth authorization credentials to manage user profiles. Without such an authorization API for third-party integration, every user has to create a new profile for every sign-up. More so, every company has to manage multiple data from the same sources.

Less Maintenance

A third-party API is easier to maintain. After all, it is owned, managed, and maintained by the company that develops it. For the third party, it is an easy ‘plug and play’ method. If you use third-party APIs from a reliable company, then you shouldn’t have any problems since maintenance and updates would always take place seamlessly. What is a 3rd Party API Integration?

What is third party api integration?

It simply means connecting an API from a third-party provider to your own app. It is continually maintained by the provider and the connection is enabled by means of special developer keys for the purpose. The process requires the expertise of a skilled mobile developer (for third-party API integration in Android or iOS) or a specialist API integration developer.

third party api examples

Why You May Need a 3rd Party API Integration?

For many startups that don’t yet have the resources to build their own complex functionalities, it can come in handy. APIs from established and reliable companies can open up your business to a whole world of possibilities that would have otherwise been inaccessible for your business.

For instance, building a map functionality for an app requires a lot of complex background work, not to mention the highly complicated process of building the app itself. In that instance, a startup is better off using an established third-party API in order to access rich data.

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How to Choose the Right 3rd Party API for Your Project?

Documentation

Every software product is usually accompanied by some form of documentation for developers implementing the product in their respective codes. Before choosing a third-party API, ensure that it has detailed documentation with clear information.

Features

Developers turn to APIs for the sake of efficiency. Surely, you don’t want to use two different APIs when one can perform all the functions you need. A good third-party API would have robust but specific features that help you to reach your goal masterfully.

i heard you like APIs mem

Support

A third-party API is maintained by the provider, not you, the client. Therefore, you have to use tools with excellent provider support. How responsive is the provider? How frequent are the updates? What’s the maintenance schedule like? These questions require answers.

Reliability

This is information gotten from other users who have tried the API. One that is frequently buggy on other platforms would probably not work well on yours too. Keep in mind that unexpected errors have real impacts on service delivery to your customers.

Security

When you use APIs from a third party, you are inevitably sharing data with that provider. Hence, if the provider does not have high-level security and data encryption enabled, your data is probably not safe using that product.

How to Integrate Third-party API?

Hire an API integration developer

Integrating 3rd party APIs can get very tricky quickly for non-developers. Therefore, the best option is to hire a mobile developer or a developer that specializes in such. Of course, if you have none of these on your team, the best option is to use staff augmentation like software development companies such as ProCoders provide.

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Consult the documentation

This is the obligatory first step for integrating third-party APIs into your project. The general procedures for integrating an API might be similar to each other, but there are specific concerns pertaining to each one.

Get the Developer Key

APIs usually require a special developer key (basically, an authorization token) to process connections and secure communication. Again, the exact details of how to access the developer key are usually contained in the documentation.

Integration

This is the integration proper stage when you connect it to your app. This is what establishes secure and regular communications between it and your app. Ensure that you adhere to the standards for security as you do so. What’s most important is that it functions well and properly with your app. That’s how to integrate third-party API.

Does a 3rd Party API Affect the Final Cost of Your Project?

One of the main benefits is that they help you to optimize resources and time as you boost efficiency. This in turn translates to significant cost savings. Therefore, a functionality that could have taken months to build can otherwise take only a few hours when you choose to integrate an API into your app instead.

time is money mem

This means less money expended on resources (infrastructure) and developers (working fewer hours). Therefore, how does it affect the final cost of your project? It ultimately lowers the cost so that your app can be well optimized.

Our Experience in Third-party API Integration

As a first-rate software development company serving clients around the globe, one of our key specializations at ProCoders is the development of apps for SaaS startups. ProCoders have been responsible for every stage of software development (research, UI/UX prototyping, software development, and live app maintenance) for various SaaS companies.

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One of our key capabilities in executing these projects is complex API integration. We have an array of outstanding web and mobile developers responsible for various software projects and that carry out REST API integrations, among others. We understand that developers responsible for the integration usually form part of a team of developers working on the main software.

Therefore, ProCoders provides SaaS companies as well as businesses in other industries with smart teams of outstanding tech talents. Our list of clients includes Frontegg, HANDLE Global, Roth River, Quartz Network, AxisPoint/VSimple, Dryft, and more. Particularly, working with Dryft to create a fitness app using various API integrations is a plus to our reputation as a versatile software development company.

F. A. Q.
How does a Third-party API Work?

An API is a reusable communication interface/medium between two apps; it creates shared functionalities and enables seamless, regulated data sharing. In the third-party case, the owner develops an app functionality as an API so that other apps can plug into their app features.

Why would You Need a 3rd Party API Integration?

For many startups that don’t yet have the resources to build their own complex functionalities, it can come in handy. APIs from established and reliable companies can open up your business to a whole world of possibilities that would have otherwise been inaccessible for your business.

Can an API Integration Help You to Save Costs?

One of the main benefits is that they help you to optimise resources and time as you boost efficiency.This means less money expended on resources (infrastructure) and developers (working fewer hours). It ultimately lowers the cost so that your app can be well optimised.

Conclusion

One of the best things an app developer can implement is an API integration; and when it comes from a third party, that’s the best. This is a super-efficient way to extend the functionalities of the app by relying on the resources and infrastructure of another company.

However, it is hardly a straightforward process. Instead, it requires the skill of talented developers, especially as it relates to the rest of your IT team. In this regard, staff augmentation is one of the best ways to build teams for such a project or to scale up an existing team. This is an area in which ProCoders have extensive experience. It’ll be a great decision to reach out to ProCoders for your third-party API integration needs right away.

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