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API Development Company

6B are skilled and experienced in delivering API development and integration services to clients ranging from NHS healthcare operators to funded startups. We supply API development and integration services that enable the seamless exchange of information from different applications, allowing organisations to enrich and enhance their products and services in new ways.

Our team of in-house developers have the knowledge and practical experience to deliver API development and integration services that are reliable, stable, secure and scalable.

API Development and Integration

Whether your organisation needs to develop an integration to interface with an existing API or requires development of an API from scratch, our team of developers will design a tailored solution that delivers tangible results for your business. We build robust and scalable APIs that are cost-effective to meet the evolving demands of your business, helping to reduce human error and achieve greater flexibility in the way that your organisation operates.

Our approach to API development and integration

 

If your company is thinking about building any type of app – be it mobile or web – you need to devote the same energy and time to building a robust and scalable API. In short, you can’t have one without the other. 

 

Not doing so would be like building a beautiful car and expecting it to run without an engine.

 

APIs are the tools that facilitate communication between your systems and applications. Think of them as bridging the gap between your database and your application, fetching the data you need, when you need it.

 

Our team of talented API developers build bespoke APIs that are reliable and dynamic to facilitate interactions between third-party applications, improving the overall functionality and efficiency of your mobile app. We have expertise in developing and interfacing with a range of APIs including pen APIs, internal APIs, partner APIs, composite APIs, RESTFUL, JSON-RPC, XML-RPC, and SOAP.

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Common challenges we'll help you solve

Complexity

API technology means an overhaul of not only internal systems, but procedures and KPIs, data management and integrity, security, standards of communication, and governance. We’ll help you create a business case for each department and stakeholder affected by API integration, detailing exactly what’s needed from them to ensure success.

Mobile App Development

Employee resistance

Like any internal change, API adoption is likely to be met with some resistance – it’s only natural for employees to cling to familiar ways of working. Our team of experts will break down the intricacies of what these changes mean to your teams and their daily workflows, providing them with the support and skills they need to understand the complexities.

Multiple systems

System integrations aren’t a one-size-fits-all solution. Each organisation we partner with is unique, from their systems to how they interact with them. We’ll help you strategise the roll-out process, prioritising the systems that will benefit you most, before taking care of the rest. This ensures a smoother integration process, and helps to minimise any potential revenue losses.

Application Management

Security risks

Any potential security breach can be disastrous to your reputation. Having worked with organisations in many data-sensitive industries like healthcare for so long, we know the importance of protecting data from cyber attacks. Since API technology is reliant on web-based programs, it’s critical that all necessary protocols and procedures are followed, which you can count on us to do.

Time and money spent

We recognise that API integration is a massive upheaval of your business processes, and as such, it’s a huge investment. But it’s a worthwhile and long-term investment that will reap rewards. We work with you to design and build a solution that’s aligned with your budget and timeframe requirements.

What is an API and why are they necessary for building a mobile app?

Nearly every mobile app you can think of uses APIs. From social media apps you endlessly scroll through to the banking app you use to send money – mobile APIs should form the foundation of your mobile app strategy. If you want your mobile app to function smoothly and efficiently, then you’ll need an API.

Without mobile APIs, it’s virtually impossible to turn massive amounts of data into a usable framework on a mobile device. Ultimately, this translates into a negative user experience, which means your users will turn their attention elsewhere, and more than likely, to a competitor app that uses an API.

But what exactly is an API? It’s an acronym; it stands for Application Programming Interface. Essentially, it’s a piece of software that enables interaction between multiple applications. In layman’s terms, it allows different apps to talk to each other and share information, but it can also be used to extend the functionality of a mobile app as well.

The true test of an app’s value isn’t just how it looks, it’s about the value it can deliver to users, and subsequently what users can do with it. Central to any app’s value is being able to access and manage data.

APIs offer developers and users integration; they’re an enabler for extending your company’s reach beyond its current limitations. For developers, this means making the task of building far easier. For users, this translates to an enhanced digital experience and more information at their fingertips.

As user demand and capabilities become more sophisticated, apps will become more reliant on pulling data from multiple sources, and a simple way to connect data into the presentational layer is critical. As a mobile app owner, you’ll be left with two choices: purchase a ready made API, or go for something custom-built to your organisation’s specific needs.

At 6B, we can facilitate both, depending on what will meet your business objectives best in the long run. The beauty of APIs is that they’re as varied as the apps and web apps they’re built to support; if you’re looking for something very specific but can’t find an existing API to suit your needs, then hiring an app development partner like us is the way to go.

Getting the expertise and the industry experience that a development partner can bring to the table can make a big difference in your mobile app development project.

What are the benefits of using APIs in mobile app development?

As we’ve already discussed, APIs are an integral part of the mobile app development process these days. Whether it’s concerning the lesser coding requirements that mean a faster time to market or the increased functionality it allows, APIs hold a tonne of value in terms of benefits for businesses looking to develop apps.

Mobile apps are evolving with each passing day; the introduction of new technologies and trends play a significant role in them having increased functionality, working better and more efficiently.

API integration is a huge enabler in this sense; it reduces development time, helps with cost savings, and it means apps can enter the market far quicker than previously possible. From a developer perspective, APIs offer a considerable time saving, providing the same high-level functionality in areas that are typically difficult to develop.

As a mobile app development company, here are some of the main benefits we’ve noticed:

  • Less coding, better functionality – Typically, mobile app developers need to carefully code each feature and functionality they want to build within an app. A major advantage of API integration in app development is the reduced time that developers have to spend on coding, as they can incorporate a range of functionality in the app simply by integrating the respective API. Using an API eliminates the need for those lengthy coding requirements without compromising on functionality by leveraging the power of third-party service providers. Think of it this way, whenever you’re using an app, web app or website that includes a map, chances are the data has been taken directly from Google Maps. This means developers don’t have to spend hours crafting their own map which can be a tedious and time consuming process, and instead, they can benefit instantaneously from the precision that makes Google Maps the gold standard in maps.
  • Less development time – Less coding ultimately translates to less development time, which means you can get your app to market a whole lot faster. Instead of having to code every single feature and functionality, before undergoing testing to ensure it works as it should, developers benefit from a more convenient process with APIs that use tried and tested features that are ready to go. For example, if a developer is pushed for time on a project and they don’t have enough resources to create a bespoke log-in page for the app they’re building, they can use a Google sign-in API or a Facebook API. This not only saves the developer time on their end, but it also benefits the user as they can authenticate themselves using pre-saved Google or Facebook credentials, instead of inputting their login details repeatedly.
  • Social engagement – When social media apps first burst onto the scene they were a source of entertainment among users; they provided very little value other than staying in contact with old friends or staying up to date with celebrity gossip. Nowadays, social media app APIs are being harnessed to enable users to do everything from posting comments to sharing content, and this engagement is crucial in securing higher conversion and retention rates, which indicates improved satisfaction rates among users.
  • Enhanced productivity and efficiency – By integrating mobile apps with different sets of APIs from Twitter, WhatsApp or Facebook, you can help users share information more effectively. But what does this mean in real terms for app owners? With content on mobile apps becoming more efficient, productive and shareable, app owners will benefit from their content reaching a far wider audience than before, as their content reaches different channels. It also means that more users will be attracted to an app’s particular offering, as they witness firsthand the benefits of the app as other users share content with them.
  • Easier payments – In today’s app-driven economy, most apps feature a payment gateway function, and this is likely to increase as free apps try to capitalise on their growing audience and monetise their offering. Payment gateway APIs are the most commonly used type of APIs that you can find in almost all mobile apps these days. They have become the most popular and successful payment method used by developers because they can integrate multiple payment APIs in their apps to help users carry out hassle-free transactions. APIs like the Paypal API have become the standard on many ecommerce apps, as they make transactions effortless without compromising on security.
  • Sign-in faster – Think about all the websites and apps you use on a daily basis; trying to remember each username and password combination can become a bit of a struggle – and even if you do remember, having to input these combinations time and time again becomes tedious very quickly. Using a mobile API for sign-in not only reduces the number of usernames and passwords your customers will have to remember, but it also speeds up the process and enforces security in a better way as less sign-ins are required. Using Google or Facebook APIs to support a sign-in feature also helps out less tech-savvy users and enhances the overall experience.
  • Enhanced creativity – Due to budget or time restraints, developers are usually under a lot of pressure to create an app as quickly as possible and get it to market. App owners don’t want to miss the boat on an opportunity, but this enthusiasm this can lead to developers keeping functionality and features to a minimum in order to meet deadlines, which can result in an inferior product being launched. By integrating APIs, those notoriously hard-to-design features can be seamlessly incorporated into the app to create more value. For example, using the Youtube API, mobile app developers can enable video streaming to their platform without the need to build their own from scratch.

What are some common APIs and their uses?

For someone who isn’t clued up on what an API is or how exactly they work, all this talk can feel a little overwhelming. You might feel like you’re lost in a sea of acronyms and you’re no closer to understanding their function. The best way to understand APIs is to look at them from a practical perspective, by analysing APIs you use every day without even noticing. 

Before we dig down into some of the most common APIs that you may use on a daily basis, let’s first look at what types of apps APIs are useful for. The beauty of APIs is their simplicity; you’re never actually switching to a different app, you’re just collecting its data…

  • Consumer apps – Mobile APIs enable user interaction with data from multiple sources, which makes them ideal for consumer apps such as Uber. Uber draws on an extensive database of drivers, GPS data, messaging, payment and a range of other capabilities, all of which come from numerous different sources.
  • Manufacturing apps Imagine you’re a manufacturing company that relies on a network of distributors for the majority of your business. To maximise your profit margins and reduce support costs, an API becomes a powerful tool that you can use to enable developers in the distributor companies to embed order placement instructions in their own app. 
  • Enterprise apps In order to protect intellectual property, enterprise apps require strict authentication and security processes. Using an API can help strengthen these processes whilst still allowing enough flexibility for developers to add functionality. It’s a way of being creative and expansive, but without compromising on the secure nature of the app itself. 

Now that we know what types of apps APIs are suitable for, let’s explore some of the most commonly used APIs:

  • Google Maps API The Google Maps API is one of the most popular app APIs of all time. If you’re using an app, web app or website with a map function, chances are it’s probably using this API to provide help with directions and location information. However, unlike other APIs, it isn’t free to use, which is why Google Maps splits the costs of using its API into four main categories. This enables developers to pick and choose which features they want to include rather than paying for the complete package. The four categories are: Directions API, Static Maps API, Distance Matrix API and Street View Image API.
  • Facebook API – Another extremely popular API among the developer community is the Facebook API, which allows mobile apps the ability to access user profile information and other social connections that are synonymous with Facebook’s success. API access must be enabled by users in their privacy and security settings, but if users do grant access, the API can share directly from the app to Facebook. Another key feature of the Facebook API is that it can also be used to sign in and authenticate users on other apps, which saves users from having to constantly re-enter username and password information.
  • YouTube API The YouTube API allows developers to bring powerful web services directly into their mobile apps, and there’s a mixture of frontend and backend APIs that can be used by developers to enhance their own apps. Using the application programming interface, developers can upload videos, manage playlists, and do pretty much anything else you can do in YouTube with ease. And because users are already so familiar with how YouTube works, this is another added bonus when using the API. 

Are you wondering if a mobile app could enhance your customer experience?

 

We’re well-versed in how mobile solutions can support a business as they grow and develop their offering.

 

Done in the right way with the right purpose, mobile apps are ideal for expanding into new markets while offering an unparalleled performance – but the mobile world can be a tricky one to navigate alone.

 

We’ve spent years developing mobile apps and building APIs to match, and we can’t wait to support you as your new technical partner, and help you evolve your online experience.

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