How does an API work?

Topic: API

If you are involved in any way with your company’s or organisation’s software systems, then at some stage, you will come across the term API.

Companies or organisations typically use an API (application programming interface) to integrate the ability to send SMS, WhatsApp or RCS messages from their own website, app or software. The benefits of using an API to do so are significant and go far beyond simply sending notifications and reminders to customers.

But how do APIs work? Read on to find out!

How does my system instruct Esendex to send messages?

Companies, such as Esendex, provide APIs. We work with your IT team and developers to help you integrate them into your system, enabling you to send automated and personalised messages to customers, employees etc, in response to almost any event. 

For example, the moment a customer places an order on your website, or you enter the details of a customer’s appointment onto your booking system, a personalised text message can be sent to them confirming the details. Discover more popular examples in our API video

So, think of an API as the means by which one piece of software automatically gives another piece of software an instruction. The software receiving the instruction responds by automatically carrying it out. This will be your website, app or software automatically instructing Esendex to send messages to your customers, employees etc.

APIs make this happen by sending a packet of data between the two systems, using the internet as the delivery mechanism. The data your system supplies will contain all of the information Esendex needs to send your messages. For example, customer name, mobile number, appointment date and location etc.

The instructions in the data file you supply are written in a code that both software systems understand. This enables Esendex to extract the information it needs and turn it into an SMS, WhatsApp or a Rich Content message in a few seconds.

Are APIs hard to integrate?

APIs are designed so your company or organisation can plug into this technology and be up and running very quickly. Most IT and development teams we work with can test the API and send messages within a few minutes.

All organisations’ software systems differ in their size and complexity, so we’re always on hand to work with you and your IT teams when it comes to integrating our APIs.

Do APIs only send messages?

A good API will come with lots of extra functionality that you can benefit from. For example, with the Esendex API, you can:

  • Send personalised and customised messages to single or multiple contacts.
  • Receive messages.
  • Reply ad hoc to messages received and hold two-way conversations with customers.
  • Create, name and save SMS templates to use again.
  • Be confident your messages have arrived, by seeing the status of your sent messages, plus click and read rates for WhatsApp and RCS messages.
  • View the number of message credits you have remaining for each of your accounts and channels.

The big benefit of an API is that you can do all of this by using your existing systems. There is no need for employees to log into or be trained on additional software

Do you need multiple APIs for different types of messages?

Some companies offer a SMS API and a separate WhatsApp API. The Esendex API can handle both types. 

If you want to send different types of messages, having just one API makes it much quicker and easier to integrate and manage. Alternatively, if you want to begin with SMS and include WhatsApp or RCS in the future, it will be easier to do so.

APIs: The key to sending messages from your own software

If you’re ready to implement APIs into your business, look for a messaging API provider who will work closely with you to help you to achieve your objectives. At Esendex,  we have 20+ years of experience in understanding complex business challenges and helping organisations find innovative ways to integrate SMS, WhatsApp or RCS messaging into their existing software.

From delivery notifications and appointment reminders to marketing alerts, we can boost the speed, quality and delivery of your services by helping you automate your messaging.

To discover more of the benefits of using an SMS API or WhatsApp API, download our API Buyer’s Guide.

Author Avatar
Prachi Bametha

Marketing Coordinator, Esendex Australia