Employment Systems

A unified API allows developers to use one integration for multiple systems. This saves development time and reduces maintenance costs.

However, unified APIs lose fidelity with target systems’ specific data models and protocols. You should be aware of that risk when evaluating them for your business. Ask your unified API vendor about this.

What is a unified API?

A unified API (a universal API) aggregates various APIs in the same software category (like CRM or HRIS). This makes it easier for developers to build integrations by standardizing the API, data schema, and authentication. Moreover, a unified API reduces the number of APIs your developers must learn and maintain.

Why do we need a unified API?

As companies use more and more software, they need more efficient ways to move data among them. That is one of the key reasons why unified APIs have become increasingly popular in the tech industry.

A unified API like that from Finch creates a smart abstraction layer for different software categories and then normalizes the data from those providers. This allows for faster development and easier integrations for a business.

This model has been applied to many software categories, including fintech and broader SaaS applications like email, calendaring, accounting, recruiting, marketing automation, and ticketing. The unified API approach has also been applied to HRIS, the HR API, and travel and energy apps such as EVs, solar panels, batteries, and other intelligent energy hardware.

A unified API helps businesses build product integrations in a resource-lite way, saving thousands of dollars and engineering bandwidth that could be spent on core product functionalities and enabling them to deliver more value to their customers. A unified API also reduces the time it takes to test and debug integrations, making the overall development process faster and easier. In addition, a unified API provides a secure layer of protection for sensitive data. It can protect against data leaks by ensuring that only the intended recipients receive and access the data.

How do we use a unified API?

A unified API is an intelligent abstraction layer that takes standard data models from software categories like CRM or HRIS and normalizes them into one set of architecture and rules. In turn, it reduces the number of integrations required for a developer to work with, thus saving time and resources.

However, a few things to consider when selecting a unified API for your business needs. First, make sure the unified API you choose supports all the platforms and categories you need it to. Otherwise, it will provide a different value than you expect. Second, ensure that the unified API you select does not compromise data normalization. For example, some unified API companies may not reconcile the different fields and resources across systems by mapping them to their model. For instance, they may map “never hire” to adamantly reject or even null, while other platforms will allow you to rank candidates from 3 to 4 (never hire, reject, endorse, adamantly endorse).

Finally, check how the unified API charges for its services. Many pricing structures are available, including flat rates for a fixed number of integrations, platform charges, and API call-based charging. Additionally, it is essential to understand how the unified API stores your customer’s data and credentials. Ask about their GDPR compliance and whether they encrypt your data in transit to meet PSD2, CCPA, and other regulations.

What are the benefits of a unified API?

A unified API offers several benefits for businesses and developers. For one, it allows engineering teams to go to market faster with enhanced core product functionalities. Additionally, a unified API eliminates the cost and time investment of building in-house integrations. This frees up resources that can be redirected to other strategic initiatives such as customer acquisition, sales, and marketing.

In addition to reducing costs, unified APIs can provide monetization opportunities for business software providers. For example, a company offering an HR or CRM system can offer a premium service to customers looking to integrate all their software systems on one platform. This will allow the company to generate additional revenue and create a differentiation point in the marketplace.

Finally, a unified API can help to standardize data across similar types of applications. For example, a unified API can easily integrate with these platforms if a business has multiple accounting software systems. A unified API can also help eliminate the confusion arising from different data vocabularies and mappings between different applications.

When choosing a unified API, looking for a solution that covers a broad range of applications and software systems is essential. It should also be easy to use and manage. Additionally, it is essential to know what security features a unified API offers. For example, it is essential to understand how the unified API will handle and store customer data and credentials.