A brief introduction to API-driven development in Point of sale
In 2002, Jeff Bezos forcefully initiated API strategy internally by sending a mandate with the closing line, “Anyone who doesn’t do this will be fired.” And in just six years, Amazon transformed from a bookseller to a leader in cloud computing. Nothing better explains the significance of APIs than this.
So what’s an API and how does it help in today’s retail landscape?
“Application programming interface,” or “API,” is a set of definitions and protocols for building and integrating application software. It is a way for two or more computer programmes to communicate with each other.
BUT, it doesn’t stop there! By embracing API-driven development, developers can leverage APIs not just as a tool to build applications but also as the very foundation of their entire development strategy. Unlike traditional development strategies, API-driven development is the practice of designing and building APIs first, and then creating the rest of an application around them.
So why is it beneficial to embrace API-driven development?
The chances of overlooking or ignoring some components when deciding which parts of the application to serve via APIs are high in the traditional approach to development. When it’s time to create the APIs, you might notice that one of your application services formats data in a way that makes it challenging to fit into your API, leaving you with no choice but to redesign that component to make it compatible with an API, which eats up a lot of your time and effort.
When you adopt an API-driven development strategy, where you use APIs as the foundation for your software architecture and delivery strategy, you’re less likely to run into problems that restrict API compatibility in your application.
Why is API -driven development critical in modern Point of sale?
Being able to integrate into wider customer landscapes is essential in the modern unified commerce retail world. APIs play a major role in connecting different applications and services.
When retailers are backed by API-driven POS solutions like Enactor’s, they can build solutions that are inherently integrable. API-driven development is a way for development teams to deliver applications quickly and easily.
How does Enactor deliver agility through API-driven development to omnichannel retailers?
API driven POS
Being able to evolve the front-end quickly via the APIs that the POS provides is a must in the modern retail landscape. Retailers’ internal development teams should be able to add their own applications and own the user experience. Enactor provides models where the customer can extend the POS UI themselves, using their own web developers. They can add their own features and make their own API calls to other services. Enactor POS acts as an integration hub as much as it is an application, allowing retailers to integrate into the wider digital ecosystem.
Integrate all your channels together
In order to deliver a real omnichannel experience to customers, retailers need to integrate all their channels together. As we all now know, an API helps connect different applications. Therefore, retailers get the ability to deliver seamless experiences to customers across those channels while managing them independently. This allows retailers to have all their channels integrated into a single platform, providing multiple ways to connect with them. Enactor enables just this.
Toolkit for rapid change
Through an API-driven development strategy, retailers also get the ability to add new customer channels quickly and easily. Enactor Toolkit helps retailers take advantage of APIs by enabling complex modifications with our simple drag-and-drop tools. Any addition or change to application flows requires a visual exercise rather than traditional code changes. This means that complex changes or extensions to the POS, back-end, or even the front-end UIs become simply a drag-and-drop process. Enactor Toolkit lets retailers use their internal teams to extend the platform themselves, either by using our flow-based tools or plugging in their own applications, delivering agility and flexibility for rapid change.
Cloud computing helps retailers simplify processes, reduce IT costs, and access data anytime, anywhere. With API-driven development, you can have applications that are inherently cloud-friendly, as they are built first and foremost for connectivity. APIs play a critical role in cloud computing. Enactor uses REST APIs to ensure cloud service interoperability and compatibility with other system applications.
At Enactor, we can rapidly deploy Enactor applications onto the cloud in just a few minutes. With Enactor’s unique development portal employing Infrastructure-as-Code tools, many manual tasks, including the provisioning of cloud resources, can be automated.