We recently kicked off the Capabilities That Matter series, where we’re taking a closer look at the features and functionality Sage Intacct provides that truly sets it apart from the crowd, and why those features and functions are vital to your organization’s long-term success. Here, in part 2, we’re zeroing in on the power of APIs, or Application Programming Interfaces. You’ve heard the term but may not have given much thought to what Sage Intacct APIs are and why APIs matter, and we’re here to change that. We’ll also speak to how the Sage Intacct Marketplace helps you take advantage of APIs so that you can get the capabilities that matter most in your business.
What is an API?
An API is a set of code (a program) that allows developers to create their own unique integrations into a certain piece of software. Simply stated, APIs specify how software components should interact. Familiar examples of APIs in your life could be an online appointment scheduler adding an event to your Google calendar, or the ability to view local weather information while you’re on a hotel’s website, or the “Tweet this” action in the article you’re reading.
Software publishers provide APIs as ways for users (or their partners) to read and/or write data into the application. The result can be as simple as creating a calendar event or as complex as tightly integrating the operations of two distinct, robust applications—such as the integration between Sage Intacct cloud ERP and Salesforce CRM or Salesforce CPQ. As a best-in-class financial management solution, Sage Intacct was built from the ground up with an open web services API to integrate with other best-in-class solutions to deliver comprehensive business management solutions.
Why do Sage Intacct APIs matter?
Sage Intacct APIs matter because they extend your financial management system, turning it into a flexible and scalable enterprise-wide solution with little effort on your part. Here are five ways Sage Intacct APIs allow you to pick the best options for each functional area of your business to extend solution and generate more value from your investment.
1. Accelerate ERP ROI
We often remind our clients that long-term gain is the name of the game with ERP, but there are definitely ways to accelerate your ROI—and APIs are one of those ways. For example, APIs allow you to bring data easily and quickly from legacy or proprietary applications into Sage Intacct. Rather than waiting for (and investing in) costly custom integration, you can jump right into Sage Intacct and bring your data with you.
2. Future-proof your business
If business requirements change in the future, you’re covered. There are more than 200 Sage Intacct APIs available in the Sage Intacct Marketplace, vetted and ready to drop into your operations. From CRM integration, to expense management applications, to native credit card processing applications, you’re likely to find the functionality you need to keep your business moving full-speed ahead—regardless of the curves in the road.
3. Support complex business processes
APIs can perform complex processes while enforcing relevant business rules. For example, they can extract data from Sage Intacct for processing, then post the results back into Sage Intacct. And it does it with idempotence. That’s right, idempotence (I had to look it up). An idempotent API operation is one that behaves the same reliable way every single time, producing the same reliable result every single time. This technique is vital when processing billing and payment systems involving money movement, since it’s crucial a payments request gets processed completely exactly once. So, even if an API designed to move money is “called” multiple times (developers call API functions), Sage Intacct should move money at most once—and it will. Open Sage Intacct APIs make complex operations with data not only possible, but relatively simple.
4. Connect to almost anything
With integration made easy, you have the flexibility to connect Sage Intacct with any applications you have—whether they are proprietary custom applications or widely used business systems like Salesforce, Yooz AP automation, or Workforce Go! HCM for payroll and human capital management.
5. Fast and strong connections
Instead of having to code a cumbersome custom integration that could break when either program updates, APIs let programmers (and even users) create more versatile solutions with a fraction of the work. Sage Intacct APIs are so well-executed that Sage Intacct guarantees their four new releases each year will not break custom integrations and solutions.
Where do I get an API?
Sage Intacct was built to communicate with other best-in-class cloud systems with automated two-way, system-to-system communication—in other words, Sage built APIs right into the software. They’re just waiting for you to leverage them. With integration made easy, you have the flexibility to connect Sage Intacct with any applications you have—whether they are proprietary custom applications or widely used business systems like Salesforce CRM. All you need to build your own integrations is the Sage Intacct Web Services Developer License on your subscription.
You can shop hundreds of best-in-class solutions with pre-built integrations to Sage Intacct in the Sage Intacct Marketplace. You won’t be alone—Sage tells us that more than 75% of Sage Intacct customers have seamlessly integrated two or more Marketplace solutions.
How do APIs work?
Sage Intacct APIs can either be pre-built connections or custom connections.
- Pre-built connections
There are multiple preconfigured system-to-system connections that are built into Sage Intacct, and many more available through the Sage Intacct Marketplace. These types of pre-built integrations make it easy for you to set up and configure your connection.
- Custom connections
If you cannot find the right pre-built option, you can work with your Sage Intacct partner—or your own IT team—to easily create your own custom connections using the web services API.
The uber-curious among you should visit this page on the Sage Intacct Developer site. It provides almost everything a developer would want to know about Intacct’s web services API and platform services. Spoiler alert: we’ll be covering platform services in a future post about the ability to extend or customize functionality using Sage Intacct’s Platform.
So, do APIs signal the end of custom development?
Silverware has a long and storied engineering history. We’ve helped clients customize their ERP applications to fit their specialized business needs, created dozens of handy tools and utilities, and even built robust, stand-alone applications. We understand custom development—and we’re good at it. Increasingly, though, the scope and approach of our development services has shifted from creating new code to creating custom connections—leveraging APIs. So, do Sage Intacct APIs eliminate the need for custom software? No, but they can minimize the need for customizations and speed the integration of customizations in with your financial management software.
Keeping your best-in-class options open
With traditional ERP applications, you risk painting yourself into a corner—stuck with a static application that either cannot scale or adapt and is costly and time-consuming to enhance. With Sage Intacct, you’ve always got options. Options to mix and match best-in-class cloud solutions. Options that keep your business management solution dynamic, current, flexible, scalable and adaptable to your business and the changing marketplace. And paired with a partner like Silverware, those options add up to a capability that really matters. Talk to us about your integration hopes and dreams.