Skip to content

What is an API?

What is an API? How does that benefit me as a wholesale or foodservice company? We thought we’d explain in non-technical speak what an API is.

We recently communicated that our ‘Wholesale / Demand User API’ had gone live, since then we’ve been asked the question…’What is an API?' and more specifically what is the ‘Erudus Wholesale / Demand User API’ and how can that benefit me as a wholesale / foodservice company?

So we thought we’d explain in non-technical speak what an API is and what benefits it can offer you as a wholesale / foodservice company.

What is an API?

API stands for Application Programming Interface.

The interface is the important part and no doubt your all familiar with interfaces, you use and interactive with them on a daily basis. Let’s take a TV remote, that’s your interface for the TV, so you want to watch the news you press the power button and your TV turns on.

What is an API?

Now let’s break that down:

You want to watch TV, that’s a requirement. You press the power button and that gives the interface the instruction. The TV turns on which is the action.

It’s the same principle with an API, which acts like the remote i.e. “If you give me this instruction, I will perform this action”.

The API is therefore the configured interface between two pieces of software that allows the instruction to be carried out.

Pre API’s

Now imagine you wanted to get quotes for car insurance from 10 different companies requirement. You would need to go to each insurance company’s website and fill in your personal information instruction time after time until you finally had all 10 quotes action. This would take a long time and a lot of effort on your part to shop around for the best deal.

Then API’s came along

An API allows one piece of software to talk to another piece of software and with it came ‘Comparison Websites’ as per our example before, you put your personal information in once instruction and then the comparison website uses multiple API’s interface to go to all the insurance companies and returns the quotes action for you. All of this is done in a matter of seconds, machine to machine, without human interaction.

The Erudus API in context

Your system is one piece of software and Erudus is another piece of software. Without the API if you wanted to add allergen information to your system you would have to login to Erudus and download a CSV file of all the products you wanted allergen information for and then either import the CSV file or manually input the information you needed into your system. This would take a long time and is prone to human error.

With the Erudus API, your system can send a requirement to Erudus via the API interface effectively saying:

’Hi Erudus, can you please tell me if there are any allergens in this tin of soup’ instruction?

Erudus can then go and check if there are any allergens and then tell your system action either ‘no there aren’t’ or ‘yes, heres the full list of allergens contained’.

Upon receipt of this list, your system could display the allergens by product, enabling telesales colleagues, for example, to instantly answer customer queries’ which, would be of great benefit to your wholesale / foodservice business.

How the Erudus API works for your business

In Summary

You now know what API stands for and that the ‘I’ for ‘Interface’ is the important part.

The interface handles the instruction, turning a requirement into an action.

Speak to your I.T. team and let them know that Erudus now has an API that can automatically pull product information into your systems and if they want to know more they can give us a call on 0333 121 89 99.