Whether you have a website, a CRM or an ERP system, in most cases you will want to integrate external services, such as a Facebook login, invoice programs or direct payment functionalities. In all these cases you will be using an API connection - a tool for developers that facilitates a direct integration where information can be put into a service and received right back.
What are API’s?
An API (Application Programming Interface) allows programs and/or websites to exchange information with each other. For example, Google has the Maps API in which the user sends a request to Google with certain parameters - a place, street, and a street number - which Google then processes. Subsequently, Google’s answer will come in the form of coördinates that can be displayed in Google Maps.
The same goes for our applications at Rocket Minds. Because of our APIs, our clients can read and process the data in their systems all by themselves. We also make connections with third-party APIs, such as bookkeeping packages for automatic invoicing, Google Maps, and social media. Most of these connections are made with Twinfield, Exact Online, SnelStart, and Mail Exchange.
Your custom CRM
CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management. A CRM system is used to save and process all customer/client data. The CRM system organizes and optimizes the relation between customers/clients and the organization, focussed on contact moments. This data will be centralized, which allows employees to easily access all the relevant information, whether it’s to check a phone call or an e-mail, to receive birthday pop-ups, to highlight a sales opportunity, or to send appointment reminders. In short, a CRM system strengthens existing and potential customer/client relations, reveals opportunities, creates efficiency within the organization, and provides an overview of the leads.
Manage your contacts in one central place by integrating all your communication channels (website, subscription tools, customer accounts, etc.) into your own custom CRM.
Improve oversight of your sales and running projects. With your own CRM, you will never forget tasks or issues anymore.
Centralize all your leads in a single location and use this with your team to manage the sales process more effectively.
What is the use of an API-connection?
API-connections are unavoidable. You're probably using them on a daily basis already without noticing. Think about logging into your favoriete website or registering for a webshop. Many websites offer you to do this via Facebook, LinkedIn or Google+, and this is all facilitated by API-connections!
At Rocket Minds we'd love to help you with making an API for your application! Simply contact us so we can explain to you how this works.
Technical information about APIs
You can see an API as a standalone section of an application. Generally, these are not accessed via browsers, but via back-end code. In this, APIs almost always require authorization data in order to keep sensitive data secure.
So, at Rocket Minds, for example, we work on the back-end section primarily with the Laravel framework. This framework maintains a clear distinction between regular “web routes,” and the “API-routes.” The web routes are the familiar paths that are accessed via the web browser. An example is https://rminds.nl/contact. With the API-routes there is usually an /api/v1/identifier, for example https://example.com/api/v1/fetch-data. Clicking this fictive url will give an error in your browser, because there are no authorization details sent along. When you look at the API-url you will see that it concerns an API and that it connects to v1, the first version of the API. This has the advantage that it prevents compatibility issues, for simultaneously with the v1, a v2 connection can be developed so differnt versions of the same app can simultaneously make use of the API connection without any interruption.
Your custom ERP
ERP stands for Enterprise Resource Planning. An ERP system contains all processes within an organisation, such as relations, appointments, customers and/or clients, leads, invoices, quotations, and plannings. All administrative, financial, and logistical organisation processes come together in one single management system. The final goal of an ERP system is to create a clear overview and hence save costs. Since an ERP system is built modular, organizations can completely tailor them to their needs. An ERP system analyses the information of all the integrated software in order to assess the most efficient way to work. This way, an ERP aids efficiency, flexibility, and adaptability of an organization.
ERPs can automate the creation of invoices, provide extensive and detailed overviews of the revenue that clients are bringing, and offer statistics and timeframe perspectives.
Manage your expenses and subscriptions in one single place. Assess the value that each supplier brings you and the costs that they incur. Adjust your organization accordingly and save money by investing in a comprehensive ERP system.
Manage your products and services inventory, together with the corresponding statistics and history. With an ERP system, you will always have an up to date overview without the usual synchronization issues.