While the Excede API announcement might have seemed like it was just for programmers, it has significant value for all Excede customers.
What is An API?
An API, which stands for application program interface, allows one software program to communicate and exchange data with another. It defines the rules and formats so that one program can request access from or send data to another application.
In the past, APIs were largely limited to technical domains, but now they have become extremely important to fueling the growth of many markets. For example:
- Expedia’s APIs allow third-party websites to tap its functionality so that the site’s users can book flights, cars, and hotels.
- eBay’s API enables its auctions to be accessed from other websites, allowing these sites to get bidder information about sold items, collect feedback on transactions, and list new items for sale.
- Google Maps’ API allows maps to be displayed on websites to show a specific location.
McKinsey, a prominent business consulting firm, calls APIs “the connective tissue in today’s ecosystems.”
The commercial heavy truck industry is just one of those ecosystems.
How Does an API Benefit the Trucking Industry?
The interconnecting of systems in the past in our industry was greatly restricted and limited. For example, most connections between an OEM and a dealer management system were limited to a defined file format for a specific set of data, such as a parts order. The DMS would collect the data, write out the file and upload it at specific times using a basic Internet protocol called FTP (file transfer protocol). At some point later, the OEM would send a response using the same protocol which the DMS would read in.
With a dynamic and responsive API, interactions between OEMs and dealer management systems can be interactive. Using a well-defined interface, like the Excede API, Excede can now exchange data more easily with an OEM system in real-time. For example, orders can be submitted interactively with immediate feedback from the OEM as to product availability. Not only has Procede added an API, but many of the new OEM strategic initiatives are introducing APIs too.
Over time, nearly all OEM and DMS interactions will be in real-time through well-defined APIs.
How the Excede API Works
In addition, the Excede API makes it much easier for third-party partners to build an integration to Excede. In the past, Procede had to work very closely with each partner to define a custom interface for their product integration. This took extensive time and resources and limited the number of partners we could work with.
Now the Excede API provides a well-defined interface to all Excede data. Virtually every Excede database table is represented in the Excede API. This means that Procede may not need to develop a custom interface for any third-party integration. Third-party vendors can use the Excede API.
Procede believes we can best serve our customers by focusing on our core competency, which is delivering the best dealer management system in the industry. Therefore, it is important to work with many other partners who add additional functionality not provided within a DMS. The Excede API makes it easier for us to work with other vendors to seamlessly interconnect our solutions giving you the best of both products.
Also, as database architectures are updated in Excede to accommodate new functionality, the API can minimize the impact on third-party product integrations from these behind the scenes changes. This means that as you upgrade your version of Excede, your OEM and third-party product integrations will be less impacted than in the past.
In the future, products that do not have an API will be at a competitive disadvantage. As you consider any technology solution, find out how that solution can be integrated with other products and services. A solid API should be an important consideration.
Procede is committed to making Excede an open system so that third-parties can integrate easily with our solution and the launch of the Excede API is a major step towards providing you with more partner options and better OEM integrations.