What is an API, Jon?
“It stands for Application Programming Interface. Basically, it’s a set of programming code that allows our customers to access our online services and integrate them into their own products and services.”
How does it work?
“Our API is a standard REST interface that includes documentation on how to access each service".
It sounds complicated…
“Not at all. It is commonplace now and very powerful. For example, Seall developed quite a rigorous Routing feature for our Customer Portal to allow shore-based teams to generate routes online using port-to-port and point-to-port functionality. Development of these services can be very expensive and time-consuming. So instead of building your own one, why not just use our API and integrate it into your own products? Customers can then get instant access to the functional end product without the expense of building it from scratch.
You mentioned a Routing capability there, are there any other services Seall can provide to customers through their API?
“Yes, absolutely. We have a number of navigational and environmental endpoints that our customers are currently using in their products, and we’re developing new ones all the time specifically to meet their product requirements too. We have different data option end-points like Weather, AIS and Piracy, and we’ve actually just implemented new functionality that allows users to optimise routes against ECA zones.
What if my business is using a different technology, will it still be cross-compatible?
“APIs allow different software systems to work together and exchange data even if they’re built using different technologies. Technology changes all the time, and the shipping industry can be especially challenging in this respect. Everyone is moving at different speeds in terms of advancements which means it’s really important for us to create products and services that are device agnostic.”