What is an API?

API stands for application programming interface. An API is a defined set of rules, which enable two separate technologies to share information or “communicate.”

Complicated? We agree.

To draw an example, think of the last time you went through a drive-thru. Using the menu, you spoke to a cashier in a defined language to quickly share information. When you asked for a #3 with a Coke, it sounds a bit cryptic to an outsider. Yet, the cashier knew exactly what you wanted because you spoke an agreed upon language, the menu. You pulled forward and picked up your meal. It’s (hopefully) exactly what you’d ordered thanks to an intuitive interface.

Why use an API?

The power of an API is that it allows two separate software programs to communicate. The benefit is you can put two pieces together, instead of having to build both pieces.

Let’s revisit the drive-thru example. Instead of cooking your own food, you were able to “interface” with your favorite drive-thru through the intercom. Now, you can eat and go on with your day.

Boom. Teamwork.

That’s it?

Maybe a drive-thru isn’t your scene. If you prioritize load boards, maps, ELDs, market rate data, and accounting software, you just might be interested in this next bit.

APIs empower transportation management systems, like Optym’s TMS, to communicate with all your favorite providers to make a one-stop shop for your business. Learn more about how Optym’s solutions can connect with your exist systems to create a one-stop shop for your business.

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