A Guide to Unified APIs: What They Are, How they Work & How To Build it Yourself!

What Are Unified APIs?

Simply put, a Unified API combines APIs for multiple providers and gives you a single API to access all their endpoints.

e.g. If you want to push a new calendar event to Google Calendar and Microsoft calendar, you only need to post this in one API, and that API handles the posting to Google and Microsoft.

Why Consider Unified APIs?

API integrations are an extremely important part of any saas growth. But lets face it, they are complex and at times, challenging to work with!

This often means that your dev or engineering or product team has to spend hours trying to research all the APIs that are required for each platform you want to add the integration to.

With a unified API, you will be able to connect to multiple services through your app with either a few lines of a single APIs code or a no nonsense, super simple endpoint call. This not only takes away the complexity behind every single API but it also reduces the overall development time by only having one API call, rather than multiple code components across different services (which can also take up more resources on your server).

APIs Are Not Standard Across

APIs and complex and sometimes extremely challenging to work with. Mostly because the API structure is not standard across providers.

So, if you are looking to build an integration to CRMs platforms, the APIs for each platform are very different.

This means, you will end up spending time trying to figure out how each of the platforms have configured their APIs and how you need to set up your call to them.

A unified API combines all of these APIs and give you a single api that allows you to consume all of these APIs, at one point.

This means, you only have to understand how one api works, to connect to all of them.

Unified API and SaaS Integrations

As a SaaS platform that wants to integrate with 2 CRM platforms, do you really need to look at unified APIs?

Yes!

If you are offering your customers the ability to connect to multiple CRMs, you will still end up spending hours researching the APIs for those different CRM platforms.

Even if you start by offering a single data point integration to 2 or more platforms, your team would still end up spending precious time over understanding their APIs.

More importantly, integration build never ends and is an ongoing cycle (remember, your customers will always looks for more data). Having a Unified API, or an API integration solution, can help you build out customer requests much faster.

Building Your Unified API

While there are services that offer ready to use Unified APIs, their supported providers and APIs can some times be a bit thin. This means, you will need to reach out to the service provider and request support for the API you are looking to access.

This can sometimes cause delays and breaks in your build cycle.

So, how can you leverage Unified APIs and access every custom data point you need? Automation.

With an API Automation platform like Pathfix Automation, you can either request for a pre-existing unified API or build out your automation to access the API you need, almost instantly.

For example: If you want to Create a calendar event in your users Google Calendar and Microsoft Calendar when they create an event in your app. Here is how your Automation would look:

Essentially, you now have a Create calendar API automation across multiple platforms via a simple automation within a few minutes that can be triggered by a simple endpoint call.

You can now extend this to consume any API, for any provider and chain them all together to either work across multiple providers or with a single provider.

Conclusion

Unified APIs are a great way to make your integrations easier and more consistent. With the right tools, you can automate and integrate all your services into one single API which can save time and money.

If you haven’t already checked out Automation , give it a go and start building your unified api today!

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