Beepsend Interviewed For API World 2016
In preparation for the API World 2016 Conference DevNetwork interviewed Marcus Carlsson, our Head of Systems Engineering, talking about our API.
Questions asked were:
What services do you currently enable developers to build on via your API’s?
We enable developers to easily integrate SMS and Number Lookup services with their systems.
The SMS API handles outbound as well as inbound (two-way) SMS messages and the Number Lookup services verified if a phone number is valid and reachable.
More recently we have developed an API for IP/OTT messaging enabling messaging services initially through Viber and with more services to come. The idea is to provide a unified messaging API where the user does not have to think about which channel is used for the message delivery.
What are some of the most interesting/innovative applications that developers have built on top of your API?
Some interesting applications built on top of our API are:
- Booking and check-in system driven by two-way SMS solution
- Two-factor authentication solutions
- CRM and Marketing automation systems
- Monitoring and alarm systems
How do API’s factor into your company’s long-term growth strategy? Do you see your company becoming an “open-platform” of integrations?
Our focus has always been on API-first. We want to build a flexible API allowing all possibilities when it comes to SMS integrations. By dogfooding our own API, we ensure the quality and functionality at the same time as we deliver an open platform to others with the same type of well-documented API as we ourselves expect when building integrations.
Are the growth of open API standards important to your industry?
We come from an industry mainly built on top of well-defined API standards and it’s been an important aspect to easily integrate with others. Due to the specific use of this standardised API (SMPP) we have also built a simplified API for our end customers to allow easy integrations for customers wanting to add SMS-functionality to their platform.
The growth of open API standards is great and a trend we hope continues.
What are some ideas for apps or integrations that developers or startups could build on your API?
System monitoring notifications using SMS, a proven and safe way to delivery notifications. Task automation using 2-way communication via SMS; have your system listen for SMS-webhooks and run a service/task.
Do developers “mash-up” your API with other 3rd party API services? What are some interesting mashup examples?
Our API is normally added as an extended service to their existing setup. For an e-commerce platform, they can integrate with our API to allow delivery notifications to be sent out to their customers as an example.
What has your team learned about building scalable, accessible API’s? What advice can you give to other teams building their own API?
Always think API-first. With a great API, your customers will have the possibility to build their own integration. Dogfooding said API is also an important aspect as it will help you keep the API consistent and tested over time (changes that should not be made to your API will not just affect your customers but your own platform as they are one and the same).
When building a scalable API, always build it in a monolithic way first. This will find the communication points within your API which will make breaking it out into micro-services much easier over time. Don’t spend too much time optimising while building, the bottlenecks are hard to pinpoint until you’re running the API in production and should be carefully monitored and profiled to find what needs to be optimised and scaled.