What is an API and why would we use it?
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Let me ask you: is your company using Frotcom’s API? I can hear you asking, “What is an API and why would we use it?” Fair enough, I obviously started on the wrong foot. Let me explain it then. An API (Application Programming Interface) is a way for two or more computer applications to “talk” between themselves. In other words, it’s a way of extracting data from one application and using it in the other application. Once programmed, the process of data transfer requires no human intervention: it’s completely automatic. A typical example involving Frotcom’s API (we also call it web services) is to have an external application extracting from Frotcom the total mileage of a vehicle in a certain time period, in order to use that information to compute a trip cost and charge it to a client; or another programme extracting the number of driving hours of a driver, in order to calculate the driver’s variable component of a wage. “That’s great, but why should that interest me?” Well, it depends. If your company has software applications which could benefit from reading data from Frotcom – such as in the examples above – you could automatize some of your back office operations. Other typical scenarios of using Frotcom’s API could involve sending your vehicle’s tracking data to major clients, forwarding companies or business partners. For example, LKW Walter, a big transportation organisation based in Austria, asks their transportation partners for authorisation to use Frotcom’s API to know their vehicles whereabouts. A second example is TimoCom, a large freight exchange player in Europe. Transportation partners equipped with Frotcom are able to authorise their vehicle positions to be available for their customers through TimoCom’s site. When entering vehicle offers, companies can highlight the fact that clients can track their vehicles – a big advantage when it comes to getting orders. Plenty of reasons why you should consider Frotcom’s API.