One of the biggest challenges many companies are facing in today’s world is developing their services to work across all the different platforms their customers are using, from Androids, iPhones, websites, social networks etc.
To help with these challenges, and to reduce development costs, while improving the experience for your customers too, you need to use APIs.
Application Programming Interface, or APIs have become extremely important in today’s digitally connected environment. Enterprises are aggressively embracing an API-centric approach to expand their businesses. APIs are used to accelerate multi-channel strategies, improve internal processes, and build consistent, cross-channel customer experiences.
In this post, I’m going to talk you through what APIs are, why they are so important in modern era, what they can do for you and why Kayako’s APIs are awesome.
What is an API?
As a Senior Technical Advocate at Kayako, one common question I would receive from customers was, “What is an API?”
I understand this can be difficult to understand. It took me quite a while to really get what API is and how to use it.
API stands for application programming interface. As it’s a rather complicated concept, let’s break it down by looking at each of its parts.
If you have an iPhone, you are well acquainted with what applications are, i.e., contacts, games, calendar, social media and other software that we use every day.
Programming is what our engineers do all the day and to make our lives so much easier.
An interface is a common boundary shared by two or more applications or programs that allow communication with one another.
In the simplest terms, APIs is a set of methods that govern how one application can talk to another.
Why APIs are so important?
We’re living in a fast-paced world, where nearly every phrase is abbreviated to save time. Whether it is social or a business talk, shorthand/notations is the language of choice.
Companies do not have time and resources to build separate platform/systems to interact with their consumers/customers. Still they want to be connected with them via every possible way. And the solution that helps to achieve the same is API.
All the leading software giants in the software industry are using the API to enhance their offering, could it be Salesforce, Amazon, Facebook, Twitter, Google, Instagram or PayPal.
“Software may be eating the world but APIs are giving it teeth”- Source: Diversity Limited
In the infographic shared by the SmartFile, every industry – Food, Music, Social, Finance, Education, Shopping etc., in the online world is using the APIs and getting the benefits of them to increase their revenues.
You should not be surprised to know that Expedia.com generates 90%, eBay generates 60% and Salesforce.com generates 50% of its revenues through APIs. So, I think, I do not need to explain why APIs….
“APIs are no longer considered solely in the realm of technology but a key business enabler for Pearson’s success in the digital world.” Allen Rodgers, Director, API Program & Developer Network.
Kayako’s awesome API
Kayako is a customer service platform that unifies your support channels, your customer information and your team – so you can work better together to truly understand your customer and support them where they are.
With the release of new Kayako, we are excited to announce that it is now 100% API driven. It provides more than a hundred different APIs for you to integrate with.
Kayako’s APIs are awesome and let me tell you why…
- JSON support – The Kayako REST API is a JSON API. JSON is a standard format for APIs nowadays and the most flexible one. If you want to send data to the API to create or update an object (user, case anything) in your Kayako, you need to convert it to JSON first. If you want to get data from your Kayako, the API will deliver it as JSON and you’ll need to convert it to something you can use.
- API versioning – We have introduced a versioned API so customers can build against a stable, well-documented API as we continue to grow Kayako’s features and capabilities.
- One API rule them all – No more different Staff API and REST API. Be it web interface, mobile, social or whatever platform you use, Kayako’s single API system will let you rule and manage all these platforms using a single system.
- Two modes of authentication – Kayako support staff credentials and helpdesk-wide API keys for authentication and lets you choose the one that meets your process.
- Much better security, request signing, timestamp checking, all over an SSL-only API. Regardless of how your account is configured, you must be a verified user to make an API request. You can authorize against the API using either basic authentication with your email address and password, with your email address and an API token, or with an OAuth access token. Time stamps use UTC time and are formatted as ISO 8601 strings.
- Session support (that’s why it is RESTless not RESTful)
- Support for two-factor authentication — a second layer of security to your login, in addition to your password. Two-factor authentication for both agents and customers is available in the new Kayako across all plans.
Well written and easily digestible API docs. We’ve developed thorough documentation that accurately guides our developer community in enhancing their Kayako, as well as building their own custom apps and integrations.
Dive into the new Kayako APIs and don’t forget to check out our developer portal.
What you can do using Kayako APIs?
Planning to use Kayako APIs and struggling to know what they can do for you? Don’t worry, we’re here to help.
Develop powerful integrations
Using our JSON-based APIs, you can easily extend the boundaries of your Kayako and build integrations that can leverage your cases, users, organizations, help center articles, insights and much more. Kayako APIs will help you save your time, speed up your efforts and deliver more proactive customer service. On the top of that, you can execute them on your own server the way you want.
Enrich your application with External Events
Using our APIs, you can inject data and information into your Kayako instance as well. Pushing events from your favorite apps into a user or organization timeline ensures you’re capturing all your customer’s activities in one place and providing them with the best customer experience.
Kayako APIs also boost innovation by enabling people outside of your organization to participate in your project. Imagine being able to give different access rights to different groups of users. No need to create custom projects for every new development partner. This is what innovation looks like in the API world.
With Kayako APIs you can boost your organization’s reach in every corner of the world. The exposure of standardized APIs accelerates the development of mobile apps in all variations (devices are operating systems).
Kayako is evidence of this multi-device strategy. Kayako Mobile apps for Android and iOS are good examples of this cross-platform support. Imagine using our Android SDK to perform seamless drop-in searches from our help center, or even entire articles effortlessly into your mobile app! Saves you money, helps your customers 10 fold, win/win!
Kayako APIs do all this by “exposing” some of the program’s internal functions to the outside world in a limited fashion. That makes it possible for applications to share data and take actions on one another’s behalf without requiring developers to share all of their software code.
Our great API helps teams build closer relationships and go beyond delight by integrating Kayako with their own systems and data. We know from experience – these are the APIs that power Kayako applications. All of the Kayako APIs are organized around the REST standard. Your developers will love our APIs – we pride ourselves in providing thorough documentation for customers to take full advantage of the Kayako API, as well as offering top notch support.
Have an idea, question or looking for an integration? Join the community of Kayako experts, developers, and integration partners to get answers and inspiration.