What is an API?

An API, or application programming interface, is a set of rules and protocols for building software applications. APIs allow developers to access and use data from a specific source in their own applications, without having to download or store the data themselves. This can make it easier to integrate data into your own applications, systems or tools, and can also help to reduce the amount of storage and bandwidth needed for an application.

Imagine that you have a database of information, like a list of products and their prices. A data API allows another application, like an online store, to access that information and use it in its own way. For example, the online store might use the information from the database to display a list of products and their prices on its website. This way, the online store doesn’t have to store all of that information itself – it can just use the data API to get the information it needs from the database.

PropTrack’s APIs provides access to our breadth of property, market and behavioural data. This enables our customers to use relevant data and insights to power their applications and products in real time.


What are APIs used for?


Take a look at our API vs Data Extracts blog post to see whether data extracts might be a better alternative for you.

Our APIs simplify how property data integrates into your applications or products, and can help businesses reduce manual processes. APIs provide the foundation for businesses to remain competitive through digital and consumer transformation needs. With real-time feeds, businesses remain agile and can respond quickly to industry shifts and uber-like moments.

APIs are useful for developers because they support the rapid deployment and innovative needs of businesses. It allows developers access data or functionality from other applications without having to build it themselves. This can save time and effort, and can also help to ensure that the data or functionality being used is reliable and well-tested.


How do I know if an API is reliable?


It’s important to ensure that the API is reliable and well-supported. This means checking to see if the vendor has a good track record of maintaining and updating the API, and whether they provide good documentation and support for developers who are using the API.

Equally as important is considering the security implications of using an API from another vendor. APIs can provide access to sensitive data or functionality, so it’s important to ensure that the API is secure and that it follows best practices for protecting data. You should also consider what would happen if the vendor’s API went offline or experienced a security breach.

PropTrack is committed to the highest standards of security, establishing a consistent and integrated approach to managing risk. PropTrack is ISO 27001 certificated, having completed a 3rd party re-certification by BSI Group ANZ.

Overall, when using an API from another vendor, it’s important to carefully evaluate the risks and potential concerns, and to have a plan in place for addressing them.

Using APIs

To start using an API, you typically need to have some form of software application on your side for our API to integrate with. In addition, you will need to have someone internal or a contractor with some programming skills.

We provide a set of instructions and developer notes so that you can access the data and power the functionality you need. This includes instructions for authenticating a user, making requests to the API, and handling responses from the API.

A developer will typically write code that follows the instructions provided and can be written in a variety of programming languages, depending on the API and the needs of the developer. Once the code is written, the developer can use it to access the data or functionality provided by the API. This might involve making requests to the API to retrieve data, or to perform some action, and then processing the response from the API.

Some APIs also provide tools or libraries that make it easier to use the API. For example, an API might provide a pre-written code library that a developer can include in their own application, or a tool that generates the code needed to access the API. These tools can make it easier for developers to use the API, but typically still require some level of programming knowledge to use.

You can read our API developer notes here

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