We often get the question "What is anAPI?". While we are using them day and night to work together with our customers and print partners, it can be for a lot a people sounds like a kind of beer instead of a solution to connect your applications to data and services on the web.
However, almost everyone in the world usesAPI'severy day. It starts already when you like to share an article you read on the web to your Facebook or Twitter timeline. In such a case the website you're at talks directly to the server of Facebook or Twitter with a request to create a new event (in this case a shared article). The server will respond, execute the action and send back the relevant information back to the website you're visiting.
API stands for "Application Programming Interface"
Web API'sare interfaces between different applications to receive or post data. If you are running an e-commerce store, instead of adding all the shipping prices and options in your database, you connect to the API of UPS or FedEx to get real-time pricing data. The same for your payment provider. A webshop post the financial data of the transaction to the payment provider which handles the payment of the customer. When payment is successful, the API sends back a response to the e-commerce store that order can proceed.
API's enable applications to talk with each other and execute or trigger certain actions without the need to having access to the code or database of the service.
While API's are already widely used in the e-commerce, shipping, payments and social applications around the world, we have launched ourPrint APIearlier this year (2017) for global print on demand.
The Publisher: Your books are sold worldwide; you sell them on Amazon, eBay, and many other websites. Some of them have a print solution like Createspace from Amazon. But most of them don't. You connect your order or Digital Asset Management (DAM) system to the Cloudprinter.comPrint API for printed books. When you receive an order, you post the request to thePrint API, and our cloud-based print platform routes it to the nearest connected print facility. Your books are printed and delivered within days.
The Web2Print company: You build a great app that allows your customers to print a canvas, photo's or photobooks from their Instagram posts or timeline. You have used the Instagram API to generate a robust printable PDF to be printed by a new print partner. Your app is going to live worldwide, but you need the print partners for that. Some printers have highly advanced workflows which allow you to post them straight from your app. Others might have a standard FTP solution or a CSV post where they will pick up the print file at their end. It will take you months to connect to each of them individually. By connecting to theCloudprinter.com Print API, you just do one simpleWeb 2 Print API integration, and you are directly connected to print partners around the world.