How important is an API, i.e. Application Programming Interface, to your decision on which online registration and payment system you choose in order to perform online registration. Do you really need an API as a feature to your online event registration software? This article examines some of the advantages that having an API included in your online registration software makes. Let us begin by looking at a well crafted API that belongs to the e-RegisterNow service. The eRegisterNow API gives you an idea of what an API is and for what some of the calls it provides look like.
API, is a set of software tools that allows two programs to talk to each other. Here’s a good explanation of what an API is.
If you’re searching for a good program registration software package or to sell tickets online be sure to check out the software’s features list to ensure that it includes an open API. Put simply, if you don’t your data is “trapped” at your vendor’s location and largely inaccessible to you, the client. That is, the only access to your data is through the vendor’s software which might be restrictive. To access all of the data that your registration system software has collected for you over time you need an API. One of the great advantages of an API, is that it can allow a third party developer, that you might hire, to make you additional reports, tools or apps that your main software vendor may not have time or a desire to build for you.
Here’s the top 10 reasons your event ticketing software needs an API.
Number 10. Let’s say you need a special report that your summer camp registration package doesn’t provide. You call your software vendor and find out that the cost to build such a report would be enormous or worse not even possible. Since you work at a university with lots of technical students, if your e-commerce software comes with a comprehensive API, this will allow a student programmer or developer to build you that necessary report, and at a bargain price!
Number 9. Let’s say you’re changing from one online registration system to another event ticketing software package and the cost to get your data from the vendor you’re leaving, is prohibitive. A good API, will let you download your data into excel with ease. Most new registration systems allow for excel uploads in order to pre-populate themselves before going live.
Number 8. Let’s say you want to build an app which will help you sell tickets fast. The app gives users quick access to your back end processing and lets them quickly purchase a ticket while they are out in front of the show venue. You hire an app developer and give him your plans. If your eticket software package has a good API, the app developer will be able to add each mobile transaction into your existing ticket selling software. This keeps everything together and the sales counts accurate.
Number 7. Email Alerts. Suppose you identify several scenarios, for which when they happen you’d like to be alerted to them, in real time. An API with some email capability should be able to afford you this ability.
Number 6. Let’s say you use mail chimp or some other email sending service, and you want a list of email addresses that your online conference registration software can’t provide. A good API can know doubt access those emails and provide you with the data you need for importing into mail chimp.
Number 5. Let’s say you find an excellent barcode scanning app that you would like to use at your show. The problem is that the free barcode app is a download but from a different eTicket vendor. However, you notice that the app will allow other codes to be imported into it, so you want to try it out to see if the app might work for you. A good API will allow you to download your universe of barcodes and have them transferred to your newly found app.
Number 4. Even a good API design allows for additional API calls to be included, if requested. For example, a busy software vendor might not have the time to build you a new feature, but would have the time to build you the necessary API call, which in turn can be used to build the new feature you’re looking for.
Number 3. An API call in the form of a URL can be used as a widget in order to update some statistic on your website in real time.
Number 2. Let’s say you found a neat app on the web which does exactly what you’re looking for. The app allows for a JSON or tab delimited import in order to populate it with data. A good API would be able to communicate to the app in one of standard formats, like JSON or tab delimited text.
and the Number 1 reason you need a powerful API is because your data is the foundation of your online presence. A fully equipped API allows you unlimited access to manipulate or recall your data for use in communicating with other potentially smarter or different programs or apps.
In summary, and from the various scenarios outlined above, I hopefully have impressed on you how important it is for your online ticketing software or your online camp registration software, to be equipped with a good API.