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Open interfaces (APIs): Avoid data loss and streamline processes by connecting different IT systems

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Interfaces as a flexible solution for a smooth data-flow

IT interfaces offer a solution to this problem. Today, modern software solutions provide open interfaces that let users connect different IT systems with minimal effort. In contrast, connecting a different system to an older software will require individual integrations to be programmed, which is often very costly and time-consuming. The advantage of an open interface (API) is that companies can link different software systems quickly, flexibly, and cost-effectively, without lots of additional programming costs. Aside from flexibility, there are lots of other benefits to using an open API. Let’s take a look.

What is an API?

An API (Application Programming Interface), also known as a programming interface or interface, is a connection point between one software program (eg. Alasco) and another (eg. your accounting system) to enable the sharing or processing of data.

1. Complete data transparency across systems and departments

With the help of API, data and information can be transferred automatically to other IT systems. This means that the same data basis is used across all systems. As a result, no information is lost as it moves between systems and departments. Automating this data exchange can also provide new insights into processes, products and customers affected.

Example: When an invoice is marked as paid in your accounting system, its payment status can be automatically updated in other systems (like Alasco) via API. This way, accountants working in the accounting system and project managers approving invoices in Alasco all know that the invoice was paid on time. By keeping the status consistent in both places, each department knows exactly what happened to the invoice and when, without any extra communication.

2. Less manual work, fewer errors

Instead of manually updating data in different systems, an API offers the possibility to transfer data from one system to another automatically and securely. This saves employees time and lets them focus on important project work, and reduces transfer errors.

Example: With API, payment details from approved invoices no longer need to be manually copied and pasted from a financial controlling system into an accounting system. Instead, payment details are synced to the second system automatically.

3.  Custom integrations to fit your business

Open interfaces in existing software allow companies to be flexible and future-proof. Every business has different processes that are mapped with various IT systems. APIs are generally serviced, maintained and updated by the software providers. This means your company will  always be up-to-date with the latest technology and you can update your systems at any time.

Example: Your company introduces a new accounting software. Because the new software has an open interface, you can continue to use your existing inventory systems and processes – helping you work flexibly.