An Application Programming Interface (API) is one of the best tools a developer can use. At its most basic level, an API is prewritten code (subroutines) that tells software and apps how to communicate with one another. In other words, APIs facilitate the development of apps and software because they provide a series of subroutines already written and tested. So, instead of creating an entirely new code for Navigation (which could take years), developers can use Google’s Map API. As an app development company, we have extensive experience in leveraging different APIs for different industries. This experience has given us a unique insight into the best APIs for SMBs and entrepreneurs. SDI has worked with pretty much every major API in most major industries and sectors, so rest assured we know our business. What follows is a brief guide on the top APIs to use – and when to use them. Twilio The rise of Messaging Apps in the last year has been pretty astounding, from the advent of ChatBots, to the success of hybrid Social Media/Messaging platforms like InstaGram or SnapChat. In fact, if you are looking for an enterprise venture in 2017, a Messaging app is an excellent choice. And if you’re going to build a Messaging app, you’ve got to take a look at Twilio. Twilio actually refers to a set of Cloud-Based APIs used to enable voice, text and video communication between different users. Twilio is especially beneficial to business to business communication, because it’s built to prevent service outages entirely, even when hosting servers have crashed (as happened in 2010. For more about Twilio’s Solid Distributed Architectural Design, check out this presentation. MixPanel Some sort of Analytic capability is an absolute must for any business of any size. Data is the lifeblood of the modern organization; it behooves a business owner to have an excellent Analytics API. ANd when it comes to Analytics, MixPanel may very well be the best option the web has to offer. As compared to Google Analytics (the other top API in this field), MixPanel has several distinct advantages, the biggest of which is that it’s in real-time. One of the biggest critiques of Google Analytics is that it can take anywhere for an hour to a half day to update its metrics. MixPanel’s data is updated instantly. MixPanel has several other features that are excellent, but the one downside is that it’s expensive. Don’t worry, our developers know how to massage Google Analytics API (which is free) to do pretty much anything. Check us out to learn more. Stripe Stripe is one of the most robust and best options for eCommerce in the world. It’s inexpensive, oriented towards SMBs and Entrepreneurs, and, perhaps most importantly is exceptionally secure. Paypal, probably the biggest name in this business, gives Stripe a run for its money, but the nice thing about Stripe is that it handles much of the regulatory compliance side of Banking. Stripe stores all payment information on its servers, taking the onus of security and regulatory compliance upon themselves. This means their clients save money by not having to meet exceptionally high security requirements. The Stripe suite of APIs runs the gamut on Payment needs for online businesses, so contact our developers to learn more. Watson IBM’s Watson capabilities range from Cognitive Cooking to Chess, but Watson has also been quietly revolutionizing how businesses understand data. Watson utilizes AI to better understand how the data fits together and helps business owners plot a better course forward. Complete with an exceptional VIrtual Assistant, Watson can improve customer relations while improving an organization’s bottom line. Watson makes it easier for a business owner better understand its customers, including how customers use a service – and how it can be improved to better fit the needs of users. Watson is the future of business analytics and customer relationship management. After all, AI is clearly the best way for business owners to understand this new generation of online shoppers. Alexa You had to know it was coming. The commercial success of Amazon, including Alexa, in the last year has been tearing up the internet. For any tech blog, the mention of Amazon is now obligatory. But this isn’t without merit, especially in the case of Alexa Skills Kit (aka Alexa APIs), including Alexa Voice Services. The newest field for IoT business are Smart Homes. In 2016 alone, Both Amazon and Google made moves to create a Home AI, and industry legend Mark Zuckerberg built his own personal system, Jarvis. In other words, if you are looking to launch your own Startup, you should absolutely be considering the IoT and Smart Home fields. This could very well be the next billion dollar industry – and Alexa’s APIs help you get your foot in the door. Any API, Any SMB No matter what industry or business, SDI has the development staff you need to succeed. Every single one of our 200+ developers are thoroughly trained on every major API out there. With Twilio, our developers ensure constant, secure communication; with Stripe, we protect and guarantee your payments; and with Alexa, you can enable Smart Homes across the US. Give us a call at 408.805.0495/408.621.8481 (or click to contact us) to learn what API you need to create a winning app!