Quick start: how to make your own API service in just minutes

In the digital age, a company produces a large part of its customer value with the help of applications and digital services. The next step is to enable third parties to participate in the additional value chain. This way, the Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) enable new kinds of services.

FRENDS is an integration platform that enables the integrator to work quickly and in versatile ways as well as the business to monitor integrations with clear reporting. Once the database’s SQL product interface has been prepared, it takes less than five minutes to publish the mini service and interface presented below.

Asmo Urpilainen

By Asmo Urpilainen
February 21st, 2019

Creating your own API with FRENDS

The product interface is done in the business’s SQL product database. FRENDS is used to create a layer where the created product interface can be published to other service providers. The integration platform is used to track who’s inviting the interface and how users are able to consume the interface. This makes interface reporting and further development possible.

The task is, therefore, to create an interface that connects the product database with the published API. In FRENDS, the interface is constructed by creating a mini service that is connected to the background system.

  1. At first, you define what the interface looks like. One interface is published with a product listing which is returned to the API consumer.
  2. A block inside which data is retrieved from the SQL data system is dropped inside the mini service. SQL is defined as the system in this block’s Query field. The format of the data in the SQL database and the location of the database are edited. The SQL expression is inserted into the database. Creating one database in the mini service takes just a few minutes. If the data is in several databases, the process looks a little different.
  3. Does it work? FRENDS lets you perform a unit test to see if the mini service solution works. When the mini service is used, data is returned to the consumer from the SQL server’s query. It works! A tested service that is transferred to version control is created. API is now ready.

Embedded content: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NYTyH1Wpkl0

From a single API to API economy

When you move from a single API to doing business with APIs, the industry standard tools will help you. With those tools, you can control identity management and registrations, for example, as only a registered user can build invitations. You must also configure the API entry policy, which means you define who can see the invitations. This can be limited based on, for example, email addresses. It is possible to include a consumer through identity management and to track what happens in the background when API is consumed.

In addition, you must make sure that consumers can find the service. Search engine optimization is important in how you advertise your services and encourage customers to register with the service and use it.

Creating this kind of a service takes approximately 4 hours, which is only half a person-day! Creating APIs does not need to be a project of EUR 200,000. You could even say that APIs today are what websites were in the 1990s. In the API economy, you can start off small. The key thing is that you join the game.

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