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  • Blog August 11, 2020

    The Ultimate Guide to Real-Time APIs

    5 Minutes Read

API traffic has been growing year-over-year. The API explosion is real and there are no signs of slowing down. The API economy has evolved; compelling enterprises to adopt new business models to drive future innovation. As per Global API Management Market Analysis, Trends, and Forecasts 2020-2025, Research and Markets, API Management market all over the world is projected to grow by US$6.8 billion by 2025, driven by a compounded growth of 33.2%.

Organizations of today are increasingly using APIs to bring together ecosystem partners and unlock new sources that create value. Successful organizations view APIs not only as technical tools but as sources of strategic value in the digital economy of today. If enterprise application development companies don’t offer real-time APIs, they stop their customers from adding highly valuable real-time experiences to their applications.

In this context, let us look at the growing relevance of real-time APIs and how they empower human lives.

What are real-time APIs?

Streaming, Pub/Sub, and Push refer to all patterns that may be delivered through event-driven architecture. But the results of streaming, Pub/Sub, push, and event-driven are all real-time functionality. They are all a way of getting data from producer to subscriber in the shortest time possible. We thus call them real-time APIs.

Real-time APIs play a significant role in today’s economy than ever before. With real-time APIs, you can share key data and expose practical business functionality between individuals, devices, and applications. Remember APIs are everywhere, powering our lives.

Use Cases of Real-Time APIs

Fraud Detection

Fraud detection APIs are designed to identify suspicious users much before, thus, preventing activities, such as invalid account creations, comment spam, and fraudulent purchases. Security devices can query these fraud detection APIs to determine the odds that a given transaction or user is bad. APIs are more efficient for developers, as they don’t have to develop a full fraud detection application from scratch into the system. You just need to find the correct APIs in the documentation and automate the right queries.

Fraud detection APIs enrich user data based on the phone number or email address. You can check if the phone number is valid basis string analysis, find its type and location, and also the person’s last login date, along with the profile picture by looking at the public social data. These APIs allow you to use the social data of the fraudster to calculate a risk score, or as a means to track fraudsters, like in the case of loan repayment. Besides, you can connect to rule-based engines that enrich data from external databases and use machine learning (ML) for advanced classification. This also leads to a reduction in fraud rates.

Driverless Cars

In the context of driverless cars, real-time APIs help you gain access to vehicle settings, vehicle information, and the like. In addition, you can stir actions, like honking the horn, starting the charging of the car, waking up the car, opening the trunk, or setting the car climate controls. You can create a mobile app of your own to exercise these controls. Driverless car manufacturers offer APIs to an onboard entertainment center, letting you write an app that can connect to it with you playing your favorite songs.

But one of the critical aspects of APIs for cars is that a car is a matter of life or death. If the car provides APIs that allow for actual car control aspects, it could be something quite risky and of concern to you. According to the US Department of Transportation (DoT), fully autonomous vehicles, better known as driverless cars, could mitigate traffic fatalities by about 94%, eliminating accidents that occur due to human error.

Medical Device Monitoring

Medical monitoring devices are a few of the key pieces of equipment in a healthcare facility. In the absence of reliable monitoring equipment, you can easily miss a piece of information that could signal the difference between life and death. Real-time APIs aid healthcare providers hone the usability of electronic health records (EHRs) with the help of third-party software for clinicians. Doctors can easily access all patient information that is consolidated in one place.

APIs allow healthcare systems to link data points from multiple systems to develop more complete data sets. These data sets can then be used for quality analytics to offer better treatment results. Patients benefit from the integration of smart devices with EHR systems, with these devices adding data to their charts and assisting with diagnosis and treatment.

Thanks to the increasing use of machine learning that real-time APIs can securely share real-time data with patients and healthcare providers. They extract the needed data from multiple files, process, and analyze it.

How Do Real-Time APIs Benefit Your Business?

Use Real-Time Data

You have real-time data within your systems. Detect the real-time data within your systems as any changes in data (commonly identified by some type of CRUD – create, read, update, and delete action or interactions with a data store), user interactions with applications and systems, and any interaction between systems. Each of these events has a related data payload that could easily be exposed through a real-time API as well as consumed by apps that wish to offer real-time functionality or display real-time data.

Reach Business Value Faster

The faster the data is accessed and processed, the faster its value can be extracted as well as gained. In case a developer is already polling your API for data changes, it signals that they want a real-time API. They want the data to be pushed to them to derive value from it as soon as possible. Let your customers access data faster.

Access Time-Sensitive Data

The safety notifications API should be a real-time API. In case there is a breach in process, you should know about that instantly. Note there are real-world examples of APIs that should be real-time as the associated data has a time-factor constraint between the event occurring (when the service detects a breach) and the event that the API consumer receives.

Empower Developers

Real-time APIs provide quite a smooth experience and empower developers to focus on building value into the product. Once the data is being pushed to the system in real-time, not only does it empower API developers, but also the overall user experience is improved, leading to a significant reduction in application processing overhead. Code complexities also mitigate.

Fulfill User Expectations

Users expect real-time experiences, and this makes real-time APIs even more important. The applications that many users interact with daily offer real-time improved experiences. The main feeds on social networking websites are key real-time factors; an activity stream area to the UI that constantly updates with friend activity. Besides, the live location feature is widely adopted for delivery services. When you don’t offer a real-time API, you stop your customers from adding highly valuable real-time experiences to their applications.

Have You Put Real-Time APIs Into Practice?

Every application has real-time data, so why not expose it via a real-time API? A lack of real-time APIs prevents the adoption of disruptive services, such as voice-controlled smart devices, fraud detection, medical device monitoring, and driverless cars. Leveraging on these services doubles down your business revenue and boosts market expansion. APIs are everywhere, and it only takes picking up that smartphone next to you to see them in action.

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