It’s hard to believe that the Internet is now over 25 years old. A quarter of a century later, and we are still figuring out new and innovative ways to share our information with one another.
Within eCommerce software, a relatively new, but increasingly popular, information sharing procedure has become known as partner APIs, or partner Application Program Information.
These APIs are how developers share their software with other developers. Some may ask, “Why would developers readily share their software with other developers?” The answer: collaboration and innovation.
Developers are artists in their own right, working endlessly to create something tangible out of absolutely nothing. They should protect their work just as musicians protect their music. However, just as music can be shared or “remixed” for collaborative purposes, so can software between various developers.
As the eCommerce industry grows, so does the number of marketplace channels, shipping solutions, and channel management solutions – making it nearly impossible for a single developer to integrate his/her software with all of the various sales channels and solutions that are available to retailers.
That’s why many developers and eCommerce software companies are choosing to share their APIs with other developers – to assist in helping these various pieces of technology to seamlessly integrate with one another and streamline the sales process for retailers.
This article will focus on defining the difference between partner and open APIs and the top 3 benefits of partner APIs.
Partner APIs vs. Open APIs
“Allowing others access to your software’s valuable information?” Initially, some see this concept as a counter intuitive idea.
What you have to understand is that there is a big difference between partner APIs and open APIs. When companies operate off of an open API policy, they make their APIs open and public for all to see. The partner API philosophy allows you to pick and choose whom you would like to grant access to your APIs.
Allowing developers from other companies access to your software’s APIs allows you to protect both your software and your developers by decreasing the work load required to stay up to date with latest software solutions.
Two Heads Are Better Than One
This is the same as saying two people working on a project are going to have more ideas than a single individual working on a project.
A composer can write a ballad, but needs an orchestra to execute the idea to its fullest potential.
Most creative endeavors benefit from having multiple minds behind the initial conception – the same can be said for eCommerce software development.
While one developer may become stuck on a bug fix and struggle to find a solution, another developer may see the problem differently and find a simple solution. This doesn’t mean that one developer is better than the other; it simply shows how each individual’s mind thinks differently throughout the collaboration process.
This prevents your company’s developer from becoming a “Jack of all Trades” developer, and rather, allows your developer to focus on his core strengths of development.
Eliminating the “Jack of all Trades” Developer
You’ve heard the phrase before, “A jack of all trades, but master of none.”
It sounds great in theory, to have one single developer who can tackle any task thrown his/her way. It sounds great for every department: one person to handle all sales, one person to handle all marketing campaigns, or one person to handle all customer support. This, however, isn’t how business works, nor is it how software development works.
Utilizing a partner API initiative allows your company’s developers to focus on what they are best at – designing software specific to your company.
Here at SkuVault, we can proudly say that our developers are the best at what they do – designing warehouse management software. It would be unfair of us to ask them to also be experts at designing sales channel software or accounting software.
However, because SkuVault operates off of a partner API initiative, when we come across great eCommerce solution software, our developers can work in tandem with our chosen partners to seamlessly integrate the two pieces of software, in turn, creating a unique and customizable sales experience for our customers.
Keeping Our Software Relevant
Let’s consider Amazon for this example – an undisputed titan within the eCommerce industry.
They’ve been in business for over 20 years now. They haven’t remained at the top of the eCommerce retail industry by simply creating their marketplace and then letting their software become obsolete. Not only do they work to consistently update their interface, but you would be hard pressed to find a shipping solution, channel management solution, or inventory management system that does not integrate with Amazon.com.
Considering the scale of Amazon’s business, more than likely they are not working to integrate with all of these relatively new eCommerce software companies. Rather, these new eCommerce companies are working to integrate with Amazon through Amazon’s partner API policy.
Retaining this partner API policy has allowed Amazon to integrate with numerous eCommerce software solutions, continuously making their software up-to-date and relevant in an ever-changing industry.
Your company’s software information is valuable and worth being protected. But when choosing to work with the right partner, sharing this information between developers can be beneficial to both parties involved.
As the eCommerce retail industry continues to grow, and more software solutions become available to retailers, those retailers willing to collaborate with partner companies will be the ones to stay most relevant and up-to-date within the eCommerce industry.
SkuVault's software integrations have been built because of our partner API initiative. Our integrations allow us to provide retailers with real-time quantity updates and order syncing through their sales channel of choice.
We work feverishly to integrate with as many partners as possible in order to improve the retail process for our clients – and we've also ensured that we have robust APIs to make that process easier and faster. To see a full list of SkuVault’s integrations, click here.