This article provides an introduction to the term API. You will learn what an API is and what its benefits are.

What is an API?

API is an abbreviation of Application Programming Interface. An API serves as an interface between two computer applications, allowing them to talk with each other. In other words, an API is a piece of software that can communicate with and transfer data between two or more pieces of software.

An API enables communication between two software applications by connecting the two programs, which otherwise would not be able to interact, using an “inner language”. The purpose is to transfer data between the programs without the need for human involvement. For example, API’s are what enable you to log in to different services using your Facebook information.

How do APIs work?

As mentioned above, an API is an interface that enables two programs to communicate and exchange data. Simply put, the internet consists of a network of servers that are spread across the globe. All websites are stored on a server, and some people purchase space on external servers while others have servers of their own. It is even possible to host a server from your own computer.

When you use your browser to visit a webpage, you are contacting the webpage’s server. The server acts as an API for your browser – this means that your browser interacts with an API every time you visit a website. The API is the part of the server which makes it possible to send and receive information.

Advantages of APIs

APIs simplify the process of transferring work from one system to another. As described above, some systems may be connected to Facebook which allows for automatic transfer of user information to the new system. In this way, an API can provide services across systems, e.g. between different SaaS solutions or from one cloud solution to the other.

On some websites, users can sign up or make bookings in a calendar that is driven by Google Calendar and directly connected to Google’s servers through an API, resulting in the appointment automatically appearing in the user’s own calendar. This is a relatively simple type of API.

With programs such as Zapier, the APIs are streamlined in a way that your program can easily be connected to others. In this blog, you can read more about how Zapier can be used to connect Contractbook to more than 7000 other applications. For example, you can set it up so that you receive a notification in Slack or Gmail each time a contract is signed.

Contractbook and API

Contractbook allows the user to do API-integration through the purchase of our API-key. This will help you to easily organize your contracts by allowing you to automatically create contracts based on data from other systems, shape contracts based on other contracts or to receive notifications when contracts are signed, rejected or edited. 

A practical example is that you can automatically generate an employment contract each time you hire a new employee.

You must have a developer on your team or be one yourself in order to integrate our Public API in your system. We will send you our API-key including versioning and embedding.

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