Application program interfaces enable applications to interact with an external service via a set of commands. You do not need to know the service’s internal logic. Instead, you can simply send a command, and the service will return the required data. APIs can be fantastic integrations, but integrations can vary greatly. For example, each application is likely to have its own API and may require different styles, such as SOAP, REST, and SDK. If you are new to integration, here is a look at the best tips and practices for successful API integration.

Understanding APIs

First things first. If you are new to APIs, you will need to find out more about what they are how they are used. For instance, you will need to know the difference between the four main types of APIs, which are Open APIs, Partner APIs, Internal APIs, and Composite APIs. Find out more by checking out this guide to using APIs.


Documentation is where API integration begins and ends. It is crucial you understand the data you receive from the endpoint provider. You also need to know how to replicate the best practices for documentation if the integration you build is to be shared with other developers and used by other team members.


It is, of course, crucial that you get the right access to the right data, but authentication can be one of the most difficult elements. At its core, authentication is about proving your application’s identity. Applications can grant access to developers so they can create integrations like API keys or basic credentials.

Error Codes

When you begin sending requests, it is important you understand why things work and why they do not. So, when creating integrations, you need to be fully aware of what the error codes you receive mean. Common errors include:

  • 204: No Content.
  • 304: Not Modified.
  • 400: Bad Request.
  • 401: Unauthorized.
  • 403: Forbidden.
  • 404: Not Found.
  • 413: Entity Too Large.
  • 414: URI Too Long.
  • 415: No Media Type.
  • 500: Internal Error.


Automation is not always a necessary step in API integration, but the true power of integration comes from the ability to put data into motion without creating bottlenecks from users’ clicks. The two main ways to automate or “event” your API calls are polling and webhooks.


Once you have automated the movement of data, the integration will be live and fluid. But you need to set query parameters so that any data you do not require can be filtered out. Querying is the final element of the API endpoint that directs the call to pull out only the data you want.


If there is too much data, or if the data keeps going and scrolling, pagination can help. Pagination takes data and turns it into readable pages for humans. Pagination requires implied orders, such as the date created, the date modified, the unique ID, and so on.

Bulk APIs

When you need to move large amounts of data from one system to another, bulk APIs can help. Bulk APIs enable you to update, insert, and delete a huge amount of records in one fell swoop. That can be extremely useful when you need to transfer large systems of records like CRM or ERP from one provider to another.

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