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APIs: A Strategy Guide by Dan Woods, Greg Brail, Daniel Jacobson

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Why You Might Need an API

How do you know whether you might benefit from having an API? Here we present some common triggers that have inspired companies to create an API.

You Need a Second Mobile App

When companies realize they need a mobile application, time is typically of the essence. The first mobile application is usually created quickly in response to a pressing need and written to run on at least one of the most popular platforms at the time (right now, iOS and Android). This sometimes results in leveraging existing technologies, like extending RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feeds, to meet the short-term targets. When it comes time to create a second mobile application, however, it dawns on the company that they are at risk of repeating a great deal of work. When that happens, they begin to look for ways to make mobile application creation more efficient. How could other devices leverage the same system? Are there any repeatable components? Might providing a private API encourage others external to the service tier of your company to do some of this work?

If your mobile app strategy is a success, you will need apps that run on iOS and Android. And then it might need to run on Windows Phone. Then don’t forget about RIM. And then all of the emerging tablet devices. The point is that, depending on your company’s strategy, mobile applications may need to run on two, three, or even more platforms.

The creation of mobile apps to support a variety of devices often leads to a discussion ...

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