I spend a lot of time talking about API providers, companies who have a public API. Occasionally, you will also hear me talk integration platform as a service (iPaaS) providers, companies like Zapier and Datafire who focus on providing a platform that connects you with many different API integration possibilities. These companies are a valuable player in the API ecosystem because they acknowledge that we usually do not just need one API; we will almost always need to integrate with many APIs, and they provide tools for developers, and non-developers to deliver API solutions that can leverage multiple individual APIs in a variety of business workflows.
I just got off a call with Sean Matthews of Left Hook Digital, an integration service provider who "efficiently build, maintain, and grow their integration options through a diversified iPaaS presence." This is the other half of the API integration coin I have been looking for, actual people who will help you navigate the crazy world of API integration, as well as the growing number of API integration and aggregation platforms and tooling that have been emerging, and evolving. I've been looking for people to help my readers navigate this world of API integration gray space in between full automation and custom development.
I've been looking for people to help small businesses, organizations, institutions, and government agencies understand how they can better leverage API aggregation providers like Cloud Elements, and integration platform as a service provider (iPaaS) like Zapier. Both platforms provide a wealth of services and tooling, but there still needs to be a person who is knowledgeable of these platforms who are willing to talk to a company or organization about which API-driven services they use, and what the possibilities and limitations around integrations are.
In addition to talking to your average company about integration, I've also been in need of knowledgeable folks to help API providers better leverage aggregation and integration platforms in their own operations. API providers are in desperate need of API design knowledge, helping to make sure their APIs reflect common patterns already in use across the sector, by leading providers, reducing friction in the API integration process. API providers also need help defining, implementing, managing, and communicating what the aggregation and implementation possibilities are with their platforms are.
Sean and I will be continuing our conversation about API integration, exploring how we can work together to tell stories, and craft more definitions of what is possible when it comes to API integration. If you are a company, organization, institution, or agency looking to better understand the API integration space, or an API provider looking to get a handle on it, feel free to reach out to Left Hook (tell them I sent you). Also, if you are an integration expert, or would like to be plugged into a larger network of API integration experts, where your talents can be leveraged, and applied in paid projects, feel free to reach out.
I'm in the design and development phase of my own API Evangelist integration with Zapier, just so I can better articulate what is possible. Cloud Elements has long been an API Evangelist partner, so I'm really excited to see what Left Hook is up to. I'm looking forward to continuing to help define this layer of the API lifecycle, which I think it is one of the more important aspects of the API economy, enabling everyday problem owners to find API driven solutions, and put them to work with no, or limit coding knowledge required.