You’ve probably heard the term API, or Application Programming Interfaces, but may not have given much thought to what they are and why APIs should matter to you. We’re here to change that and are zeroing in on the combined power of Sage Intacct and APIs.
What is an API?
Before I learned software development, I thought API was a kind of beer.
Now I use the term so often that I recently tried to order an API at the bar.
The bartender’s response was to throw a 404 Resource Not Found.
An API is a set of code (a program) that allows developers to create their own unique integrations into a certain piece of software. Simply stated, APIs specify how software components should interact. Familiar examples of APIs in your life could be an online appointment scheduler adding an event to your Google calendar, or the ability to view local weather information while you’re on a hotel’s website, or the “Tweet this” action in the article you’re reading. This “What is an API” video explains it using some easy examples if you’d like to learn more.
Software publishers provide APIs as ways for users (or their partners) to read and/or write data into the application. The result can be as simple as creating a calendar event or as complex as tightly integrating the operations of two distinct, robust applications—such as the integration between Sage Intacct cloud ERP and Salesforce CRM or CPQ. As a best-in-class financial management solution, Sage Intacct was built from the ground up with APIs to integrate with other best-in-class solutions to deliver comprehensive business management solutions.
Why Should You Care About Sage Intacct APIs?
You should care about APIs because they extend your financial management system, turning it into a flexible and scalable enterprise-wide solution with little effort on your part. With approximately 70% of all transactions processed in Sage Intacct coming in via the API, you want to make sure you’re taking advantage of its benefits. Here are five ways Sage Intacct APIs help expand your ecosystem and generate more value from your investment:
- Accelerate ERP ROI
We often remind our clients that long-term gain is the name of the game with ERP, but there are definitely ways to accelerate your ROI—and APIs are one of those ways. For example, APIs allow you to bring data easily and quickly from legacy or proprietary applications into Sage Intacct. Rather than waiting for (and investing in) costly custom integration, you can jump right into Sage Intacct and bring your data with you.
- Future-proof your business
If business requirements change in the future, you’re covered. There are more than 200 solutions available in the Sage Intacct Marketplace, vetted and ready to drop into your operations. From CRM integration to expense management applications to native credit card processing applications, you’re likely to find the functionality you need to keep your business moving full-speed ahead—regardless of the curves in the road.
- Support complex business processes
APIs can perform complex processes while enforcing relevant business rules. For example, they can extract data from Sage Intacct for processing, then post the results back into Sage Intacct, and it does it with idempotence. That’s right, idempotence. An idempotent API operation is one that behaves the same reliable way every single time, producing the same reliable result every single time. This technique is vital when processing billing and payment systems involving money movement, since it’s crucial a payments request gets processed completely exactly once. So, even if an API designed to move money is called multiple times, Sage Intacct should move money at most once—and it will. Sage Intacct’s open APIs make complex operations with data not only possible, but relatively simple.
- Connect to almost anything
With integration made easy, you have the flexibility to connect Sage Intacct with any applications you have—whether they are proprietary custom applications or widely used business systems like Salesforce and Stampli’s AP automation solution.
- Fast and strong connections
Instead of having to code a cumbersome custom integration that could break when either program updates, APIs let programmers (and even users) create more versatile solutions with a fraction of the work. Sage Intacct’s APIs are so well-executed that Sage Intacct guarantees that product upgrades will not break custom integrations and solutions.
Where Do I Get an API?
Sage Intacct was built to be able to communicate with other best-in-class cloud systems with automated two-way, system-to-system communication—in other words Sage built APIs right into the software. They’re just waiting for you to leverage them. With integration made easy, you have the flexibility to connect Sage Intacct with any applications you have—whether they are proprietary custom applications or widely used business systems like Salesforce CRM. All you need to build your own integrations is the Sage Intacct Web Services Developer License on your subscription.
You can shop hundreds of best-in-class solutions with pre-built integrations to Sage Intacct in the Sage Intacct Marketplace. You won’t be alone—Sage tells us that more than 75% of Sage Intacct customers have seamlessly integrated two or more Marketplace solutions.
How Do APIs Work?
Sage Intacct APIs can either be pre-built connections or custom connections.
- Pre-built connections
There are multiple preconfigured system-to-system connections that are built into Sage Intacct, and many more available through the Marketplace. These types of pre-built integrations make it easy for you to set up and configure your connection.
- Custom connections
If you cannot find the right pre-built option, you can work with your Sage Intacct partner—or your own IT team—to easily create your own custom connections using the web services API.
The uber-curious among you should visit this page on the Sage Intacct Developer site. It provides almost everything a developer would want to know about Intacct’s web services API and platform services.
So, Do APIs Signal the End of Custom Development?
We’ve helped many, many clients customize their ERP applications to fit their specialized business needs, created dozens of handy tools and utilities and even built robust, stand-alone applications. We understand custom development—and we’re good at it. Increasingly, though, the scope and approach of our development services has shifted from creating new code to creating custom connections—leveraging APIs. So, do APIs eliminate the need for custom software? No, but they can minimize the need for customizations and speed the integration of customizations in with your financial management software.
Keeping Your Best-In-Class Options Open
With traditional ERP applications you risk painting yourself into a corner—stuck with a static application that either cannot scale or adapt, and is costly and time-consuming to enhance. With Sage Intacct, you’ve got options. Options to mix and match best-in-class cloud solutions. Options that keep your business management solution dynamic, current, flexible, scalable, and adaptable to your business and the changing marketplace. Paired with a partner like BT Partners, those options add up. So, when you’re ready, feel free to talk to us about your integration hopes and dreams.