Home Property Insurance Software Programming Interfaces and How They Profit the Trade

Software Programming Interfaces and How They Profit the Trade

Software Programming Interfaces and How They Profit the Trade


This submit is a part of a sequence sponsored by AgentSync.

Insurance coverage is filled with enjoyable acronyms. So full, in truth, that we’ve written a number of items like this one and this one to attempt to cowl as many as potential. Whereas these articles gives you extra context on issues like NPNs, the NAIC, or P&C, on this article we’re discussing a more moderen child on the insurance coverage acronym block: APIs.

Whereas not restricted to the insurance coverage sector, APIs are rising in popularity amongst insurance coverage and insurtech organizations, and for good purpose! So, with out additional ado, let’s dive in to a dialogue about APIs together with what they’re and why they matter in insurance coverage.

What’s an API?

Whereas it could really feel like simply the most recent buzzword being tossed round by tech corporations, APIs are greater than a passing pattern. API, which stands for software programming interface, refers to an middleman layer of software program that allows two totally different techniques to switch information seamlessly between them.

To simplify, APIs assist purposes to speak to one another. Whereas there are totally different API constructions (which we’ll get into shortly), the top objective of every is to present organizations a extra accessible and standardized method to share information each internally and externally.

How do APIs work?

To know how an API works with out getting caught up in a bunch of tech bro mumbo jumbo, let’s stroll by a situation you’ve most likely discovered your self in earlier than: calling an Uber.

Whenever you use a ridesharing app to request transportation, you’re interacting with an API. The Uber app connects to the web and sends information like your present location and your most popular vacation spot to a server. That server retrieves the info, interprets it, after which sends related information again to the app. The app then interprets this new information and presents it again to you in a approach you possibly can perceive, like by supplying you with the fee and estimated time of arrival in your experience.

The API comes into play as quickly as you open the request for a experience. Your request for a last-minute Uber to the airport is shipped to the API, which retrieves information like present site visitors circumstances, obtainable drivers, and quickest routes and returns it to you in a approach that makes it clear to you that you simply’re going to overlook your flight.

What are the several types of APIs?

APIs could be break up into a number of totally different “varieties” relying on the way you categorize them. One frequent method to differentiate APIs is by their meant viewers, by which case we will separate them like this:

  1. Public APIs: Additionally known as exterior or open APIs, public APIs can be found to builders and customers with little to no restrictions. Take into consideration the Uber instance.
  2. Personal APIs: Also called inner APIs, personal APIs are hidden from exterior customers and the organizations that construct and keep them don’t share them for outdoor consumption. Personal APIs face extra restrictions and solely approved people can entry them.
  3. Accomplice APIs: Accomplice APIs are a contented medium, which a enterprise builds and maintains for its personal use and that of its strategic enterprise companions. Customers want particular authorization to entry associate APIS, they usually aren’t obtainable for the general public.

One other frequent method to categorize APIs is by their construction. You’ll have heard of two of the commonest API constructions, SOAP and REST; to not be mistaken for a particularly simplified self-care routine.

What are SOAP APIs?

The easy object entry protocol, higher often called SOAP, is an API construction sort that helps complicated information exchanges. The SOAP construction is just like the founding father of API constructions. It’s older, extra established, extra clearly outlined, and extra tightly managed than different architectures.

One of many predominant variations between SOAP and REST is that SOAP APIs solely permit information to be exchanged by way of an XML format.

A fast be aware on information codecs

Knowledge codecs are guidelines for structuring information in order that it may be saved or shared throughout totally different networks and databases. The information format dictates preset specs for the way builders should manage information.

Two frequent messaging codecs are JSON, or JavaScript object notation, and XML, or extensible markup language. XML affords a fancy, however free-form skill to construction your information, and is utilized in all types of various applied sciences. JSON is an easier format, as compared, however has develop into the lingua franca of REST APIs.

SOAP was one of many first standardized API codecs on the scene, and has efficiently been utilized in complicated information exchanges. Nevertheless, its stricter guidelines and decrease flexibility have led to its reputation lower compared to different API varieties.

What are REST APIs?

American pc scientist Roy Fielding developed the representational state switch structure, extra generally often called REST or RESTful, as one other strategy to constructing APIs. Its flexibility and talent to ship information by way of XML, JSON, and different messaging codecs, has cemented the REST construction as a substitute for the constraints of SOAP.

REST APIs have a wealthy ecosystem of software program tooling permitting them to be simply accessed from standard programming languages, like Java, C#, Javascript, and extra. The trendy tooling obtainable for REST APIs makes them a well-liked selection for low-cost, high-reward software program.

REST APIs are generally documented within the OpenAPI format, that means builders can simply decide precisely how they work and what they do. For instance, anybody (with the technical know-how) can take a look at AgentSync’s ProducerSync API documentation and decide how one can use it.

Total, the primary draw of REST APIs is simply how scalable and versatile they’re. Builders can rapidly and simply combine REST APIs with their pre-existing softwares with no entire lot of added work.

Why do APIs matter in insurance coverage?

It’s potential you clicked on this text merely since you have been interested by APIs, by which case I hope you’re discovering it useful. Nevertheless, it’s extra possible you’re right here to be taught why APIs matter, and extra particularly why they matter within the insurance coverage trade.

Talking broadly, industries throughout the board leverage APIs for digital transformation. Incorporating APIs into enterprise operations can:

  • Enhance the shopper expertise by growing effectivity and permitting for larger personalization in a company’s services and products
  • Lower guide work, saving workers helpful effort and time
  • Save prices and downtime by eliminating the necessity to develop and/or combine purposes from scratch

Insurance coverage carriers and businesses have a number of good use-cases for APIs, from compliance information to claims processing, fee processing, and background checks. Relating to insurance coverage, having up-to-date producer licensing and onboarding information on the level of motion is a should. By leveraging APIs, carriers, businesses, and MGAs can entry present information when and the place they want it.

API integrations are significantly helpful to insurance coverage organizations that have already got a strong, extremely built-in tech stack in place. For instance, legacy carriers with bespoke techniques could be reluctant so as to add one other layer of absolutely developed software program, like a standalone compliance answer, into their tech stack. As an alternative, it could be extra environment friendly and cost-effective to string API information by their current techniques.

Humanize your information with AgentSync’s ProducerSync API

AgentSync’s ProducerSync API is a REST API that gives entry to greater than 200 information factors, together with producer licensing, service appointments, and adjuster licensing. With correct, easy-to-understand information delivered straight into your current techniques, your groups can lower hours of analysis and guesswork from their workflows.

Prepared to begin leveraging APIs for quicker speed-to-revenue, extra environment friendly compliance groups, and decrease enterprise danger? Contact AgentSync at the moment.



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