Application Programming Interface
While technology continues to transform businesses around the world, the number of systems performing different functions is quite overwhelming, sometimes making the choice very difficult about which systems to implement. There is at least one or more systems for quite a number of processes that one might require to facilitate business operations; to make things even more confusing is the fact that these different systems will occasionally or frequently share data and information with each other along the business process. The emergence of Cloud Computing, internet of things and other technologies further boost the demand for APIs at the corporate level because as these technologies may solve particular business needs, there is even a greater need for communication between the various applications to ensure streamlined activities.
An Application Programming Interface (API) is a set of routines, protocols, and tools that specify how software components interact with each other hence allowing the access to features, data, applications, or other services. One of the most basic examples of the use of an API is copying some text from one program and pasting it in another program; though these run on the same system, they were probably created by different developers yet are able to pass information between each other by help of the APIs in the system.
In most cases the developer of a system will release an API for third party development, however when the third party applications are written in different languages or for completely different platforms, there will be need for some sort of middleware that is able to understand both languages, hence providing a way for the applications to communicate with each other. As a developer, you may want to consider using APIs when writing code to interact with external systems because this makes it possible to use standard commands for performing common operations which would be otherwise more complicated.
The presence of the ADBanking Channel Manager API makes it easy to develop third party applications that can easily interact with the ADBanking Core System by clearly defining the correct ways for the developer to write the code needed to request data and services. As a result, a Microfinance Institution that implements the ADBanking System does not need to worry about future requirements; any applications that will be developed for additional roles will easily be able to communicate with the existing systems through the API. Furthermore the existence of the API implies that the third party systems will not have direct access to the ADBanking Core System hence providing appropriate level of security.
The Mobile Banking and Internet Banking Modules use the ADBanking Channel Manager to interact with the Core Banking System. Through Mobile and Internet Banking, Microfinance Institutions are able to extend service delivery to their customers by giving them the power to interact remotely with the help of the Channel Manager that is able to request information on their behalf from the Core Banking System. Any developer creating a new system needs to consider developing an API to ensure its scalability through interoperation with other systems. APIs can be as simple as a few lines of code used for retrieving basic information, but could be more complex if more interaction within the systems is required. This calls for proper documentation of the APIs to ensure that they are understandable by developers of third party applications; developers are very sensitive to documentation of APIs and the adoption of a system can greatly be affected by how easy it is for other developers to tap into it through the available APIs.