The benefits of using API integration in government are better security, as well as ease of accessibility to common citizens.
API is a technology that integrates databases, applications, and devices, making the interaction between datasets and agencies a seamless, automatic process.
If your government agency still relies on legacy applications and doesn’t have integrated systems, an API integration strategy can be a solution to adapt to the current, digital era.
Read below to find out what an API is, how it works, as well as its benefits to government agencies and the common citizen.
What is API integration?
API stands for “Application Programming Interface” and as an interface, it integrates servers and databases with different applications.
To make things simple, let’s think of a day-to-day example: whenever you use a delivery app to buy a meal for your family, the data you type in (your order) is sent to the restaurant via an API.
So in other words, you can think of APIs as a bridge between different applications. And with the widespread use of smartphones and apps, APIs have become a mainstay in the digital era.
It only makes sense that government agencies require API too, so they can allow citizens and other departments to easily perform tasks on smartphone apps with security.
Benefits of API integration
There are a myriad of benefits to any government agency that starts using API integrations. But if you were to focus on the key benefits, they would be security and integration.
APIs make your government agency integrations more secure. That’s because with an API, you only send to the user highly-specific packets of data, instead of making your database fully open (and risk attacks from hackers).
Like the delivery app example we mentioned before, thanks to an API only the information on available orders and pricing is provided. Any government agency can take advantage of the same mechanism: if a user is accessing a database for X data, only provide them X data.
And now let’s discuss the other key benefit: integration.
Government agencies need to compile many pieces of data from different sources for their operations. In fact, it’s common for a government agency in the US to use multiple legacy systems simultaneously and staff needs to manage them all. This not only makes data difficult to access but also increases the workload of your IT team.
With APIs, you can integrate all that data seamlessly. And you can even automate processes, allowing users to access data from multiple databases on a single app. This makes everything safer and more efficient.
Benefits of API integration in Government
We discussed the security and integration benefits of APIs already, but what are the other benefits considering its usage by government staff and citizens?
APIs are connectors between multiple systems and databases, which means convenience for the end-user. For example, you can develop a single app to access records from multiple sources of your agency instead of obliging the user to jump from website to website for data.
Read below 5 more benefits of using API integration:
1. Automation: make data retrieval processes as well as workflows in your government agency totally automatic. Let computers, rather than people manage these time-consuming tasks
2. Make data accessible: by integrating many databases and using an API to fetch/ distribute data, you make it easier for the common citizen to access the data they need. This increases the transparency of your agency
3. Personalization: APIs allow content and services to be personalized according to each target audience. Allow citizens to access the data and services that are more relevant to them, based on their age, gender, and location
4. Adaptation: APIs can be easily adapted by developers, making your operations less clunky and easily adjustable to any new digital developments
5. Increase the scope of your data: API allows information to be easily distributed by partners, such as businesses that interact with your agency, as well as other departments in government. With APIs, your data can reach far more people and key players automatically.
Government API Integration
Government agencies mostly still rely on legacy systems to manage data and provide services to citizens, but an API strategy can make all those tasks more efficient.
With an API strategy, governments can integrate databases, which makes G2G and G2B operations easier, as well as the life of the average citizen that requires your services.
APIs also allow government agencies to develop smartphone apps, in a time when most citizens use their phones to gain information, communicate, and acquire goods/ services.
Many government agencies that don’t fully leverage APIs have websites that don’t provide real-time data. This makes the life of citizens harder by not allowing them to get data at the time they need it most.
So, in a nutshell: APIs allow government agencies to integrate databases, applications, systems, and devices to unlock data, as well as make operations efficient and accessible.
Learn more about Government API integration solutions here.
API Integration Software
There is plenty of API integration software available in the market, which allows developers to easily integrate their databases with applications and devices.
But, most of these API solutions weren’t developed considering fully the organization’s needs. When it comes to public data sets, many laws need to be respected and guidelines must be followed.
A government agency that decides to purchase a market-focused API software solution will have to spend a lot of time adapting it to their needs. And possibly, need to implement workarounds for it to work according to government guidelines.
But there is a Government API integration solution available, which was designed to address an agency’s needs now and in the future.
We at Software AG Government Solutions have experience providing IT solutions to the US Navy, Army, and Coast Guard, as well as the Department of Treasury and the Pennsylvania Justice Network.
Our team can do the following API and Integration tasks for your agency:
- Application integration
- API management
- G2G/ G2B integration
- Mainframe integration
- Cloud-native applications