The use of APIs (Application Programming Interface) from a technical point of view is very important for all the industries.
Basically, APIs are the tools through which two computer programs interact which each other.
In the hospitality industry, there are many tools in action. From the hotel reservation system to a channel manager, the list is long.
And the most important thing is that these tools have to share information with each other.
If we take an example, to sync the inventories and rates across the platforms we use a channel manager.
A channel manager saves us from overbooking and underbooking.
Now, this channel manager has to interact with our hotel reservation systems and property management systems in order to exchange the data.
For this, these systems are integrated with the help of API.
And if you take the other end of the channel manager, it has to sync the data with OTAs.
A channel manager has to sync the inventory with many OTAs and booking sites in that order they again rely upon the use of APIs.
But the issue is that we as hoteliers have a little knowledge about APIs. Hence, in this article, I will try to list down the uses of APIs.
But before that let us check out what are APIs.
API stands for Application Programming Interface. It acts as a software intermediary so that two pieces of software can interact with each other and interchange data.
The software can have any kind of stack. Software developers can use any kind of technology for development.
One can be developed on PHP and other on Python along with other programming languages.
Despite these differences, we need multiple software to interact with each other.
So APIs act as a bridge.
An application programming interface (API) is a computing interface to a software component or a system, that defines how other components or systems can use it. It defines the kinds of calls or requests that can be made, how to make them, the data formats that should be used, the conventions to follow, etc.Wikipedia
Here are some uses of APIs that we can have in the Hospitality Industry.
APIs help you to refine customer experience by simplifying the login process.
At times the registration process can be a bit frustrating. A user has to make an account on each website he wants to shop or book.
So with the help of APIs, we can resolve these issues. We can allow our users to sign in via Facebook, Twitter or Google.
This is a simple process with APIs in the picture. Facebook, Twitter, Google or any other platform like them give their APIs.
And we just have to use these APIs and integrate the sign in options into our website.
Furthermore, this will also increase the credibility of our website.
The last step to complete an online booking is making the payment. The payment can be done at the hotel also but online payments are preferred.
To make the user pay via credit cards, debit cards, or UPIs we need payment gateways.
Payment gateways are the tools that allow online payments on a website. Some famous payment gateways are Paypal, Stripe, PayU, etc…
These payment gateways provide API docs and by consuming these APIs we integrate them on our site.
Spams and frauds are one of the prime issues internet businesses face. The websites are always under threat of these attacks.
And there is a need for concern because real money transactions happen on our websites.
Apart from this spams also affect the performance of the website.
So we use tools like Google Recaptcha and anti-fraud APIs to tackle this.
The reCAPTCHA stands as a gatekeeper for the entries coming onto your website.
Then we have the anti-fraud APIs.
Actually, we have two concerns here. First, you need to prove that your website is secure for online payments. And second, you have to make sure that the buyer is not a spammer.
For the second concern, we use anti-fraud APIs.
These APIs have smart algorithms by which detect the grotty behavior of users and segregate the spammers from genuine customers.
You just need to integrate these APIs to your website and you are ready to go.
Social media platforms can be used as social proofs on our website. You can display feeds, your page likes, tweets, or your hotel reviews on your website.
This will increase the trust of the upcoming visitors and will promote sales.
Social media platforms provide you with APIs for this purpose.
You can use these APIs to stream the social media data directly on your webpage.
It is evident that without APIs the online front of the hotel business will fail. APIs are one of the basic ingredients of web development.
So it is a must that everyone has a basic knowledge of API and it uses.
So this was my attempt to clarify the concept and uses of APIs. I hope this will help you.
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If you want to learn about the functionality of QloApps then you can visit this link: QLO Reservation System – Free Open-Source Hotel Booking & Reservation System
In case of any query, issue or requirement please feel free to raise it on QloApps Forum