WHAT ARE APIS AND WHY THEY MATTER
Application Programming Interfaces, in short APIs, are tools that make different programs work together in various ways, making it possible to exchange services or information among different pieces of software. The growth of this technology has been outstanding in the past few years, and nowadays there’s not a single major company that doesn’t rely on a shared ecosystem of microservices and APIs. The reason is simple: APIs work like building blocks, and having a set of these ready to go when developing software makes building applications a much faster process.
Also Konica Minolta offers an API platform focused on its areas of expertise, imaging and AI. Developers can find the tools and environment they need to build applications and services around Video Solution Services, Cognitive Services and Manufacturing Image Recognition.
Effectively, APIs are changing the way software engineers write applications, with much less code needed to be written, and most of the data being easily available from outside sources. Developers can focus on what matters the most, instead of worrying about compatibility issues when writing long lists of code or implementing new features on their applications.
It’s no secret that API use is expected to grow even more in the next decade, with Market Data Forecast predicting a growth, for the U.S. market alone, from 4.1 billion in 2021 to 8.41 billion in 2027. Being the perfect tool to access data via mobile applications, Internet of Things (IoT) and cloud platforms, it matches the needs of the market, enabling companies to expand their services and products, making them smarter, safer, and future proof. The biggest challenge that this technology is undergoing is standardisation, making it sometimes hard for organizations to get a perfect fit for the particular set of features they want to implement in their application or service.
EXAMPLES OF API SUCCESS
Imagine to be able to pull data from whatever source you want, or to have free access to AI services without having to develop them yourself from scratch. This opened a plethora of opportunities, and companies all over the world took advantage of this to expand their products. Let’s take Google Maps as an example: it is so simple nowadays to check the location of a restaurant on a map, and this is usually possible thanks to the Google API dedicated to Maps. For instance, with such deep information about the location of interest points in a map being always available, any company that works in the real estate market could suddenly access to detailed information about the area, making it easier to implement map-based research, instead of providing with a list of addresses.
Another leading player in terms of APIs is Microsoft, which provides with a suite of solutions for business, that range from computer vision and AI to their Bing powered search engine. Again, these are trusted companies that feature great APIs, but may lack in terms of customisability and adaptability to a particular service, not being able to assess the needs of the client.
KONICA MINOLTA’S CUSTOMISED APPROACH TO APIS TO FOSTER GROWTH
We’ve mentioned that APIs can help developers retrieve information, streamline processes, and make a particular business more agile. This leads to a very important question: which API is best suited for my needs?
To answer this question, we set out to create useful and powerful Visual Quality Inspection and Cognitive Services related APIs, that help developers and partners to build applications around imaging, video and Artificial Intelligence. The possible uses range from:
- Document management and analysis, helping companies process huge sets of data and organizing them thanks to custom-trained AI models. To have an insight of what can be done in this particular field, Company Navigator is our advanced search tool that finds documents, people, events or categories relevant to your current tasks or interests.
- Video and image analytics, examining data using our Video Solution Services, it is possible to ensure that a workplace is safe for its employees, or that the product line is working as efficiently as possible by detecting errors, non-compliances and defects. These are the services offered by our AI-Based quality inspection.
These are just two examples of all the possible implications of these types of services. By using our APIs, a company gets access to all our latest tools, leading to great flexibility.
JOIN KONICA MINOLTA’S APIS PARTNERS PLATFORM
The right communication and engagement help to achieve the best possible result in any given project, a thing that is not guaranteed when working with huge companies that deliver a plethora of different APIs. At Konica Minolta Global R&D, we’ve chosen to adopt a more specialized approach, that helps us and the customer come up with the right tools for the task at hand.
Furthermore, we organize demo experiences to further engage, educate and inspire possible partners, to give a concrete example of how our APIs and microservices work in an operative scenario.
To find out how these solutions could apply to your industry, get in touch with our researchers today.