API Integration vs. Web Service: Which One is Best for Your Business?
May 24, 2018
There are a lot of variables to address when implementing all manner of mission-critical software, especially those related to data management and identity verification. While no two businesses are alike, each with their own operational quirks and unique cultures, there are some universal points of concern that all developers have to wrangle with. Choosing how much effort to put into integration is one of them.
Do you go with a full integration with maximum control, but requires more time and resource investment? Or do you need a solution that allows you to start immediately without any integration but limited customization? Is there an option that is somewhere in between?
All these approaches have their benefits, but it’s up to you to decide which one aligns with both the company you are now and the company you aim to be.
Understanding the Difference
While most developers are well aware of how API integration differs from web service adoption, highlighting the benefits and considerations between these two approaches helps establish a sort of decision-making baseline. API integration involves the adoption of back-end third-party code that interacts with client-created and hosted applications. It infuses these assets with data, which users can access via customized native or web-based interfaces.
Web services, on the other hand, give users immediate access to features created by a third-party vendor. They are a fine short-term solution, getting you off the ground fast, but they can’t match the assurances and level of detail that an API integration provides.
Adopting an Effective Approach
Identifying your business needs and assessing your internal resources are the first steps to deciding the best solution for your company.
API integration is best for companies seeking a long-term solution, frictionless scalability and a variety of options for customization all in one unified package. Companies that choose API, however, will need some time for development and testing, as well as fairly robust internal product development teams with the bandwidth to tackle the job.
For firms with fewer IT resources or aggressive release targets, however, web services are ideal, because vendors provide immediate access to key data insights and front-end interfaces via web portals.
At Evident, we support businesses that want to build out their data management and identity verification infrastructure based on either approach. Developers and IT stakeholders looking to use our proven solution can deploy with the Evident customer portal and user interface or choose from one of our three API integration methods. With the former, businesses can create customer profiles and begin processing user information through our SubmitUI branded interfaces with little to no development time. As for API integration, organizations select one of these offerings:
- Maximum Protection with Evident’s Branded Interface: the Evident platform integrated with client back-end architecture and SubmitUI branded interfaces for inputting information via the VerifyAPI and EvidentSubmitUI.
- Maximum Protection with Your User Experience: the Evident platform integrated with client back-end architecture and AssureSDK to support the use of customized input interfaces.
- Limited Protection with Complete Back-end Integration: the Evident platform integrated with client back-end architecture and end-to-end customization via SubmitAPI.
With these options, businesses of all sizes and operational capabilities can implement effective data management and identity verification strategies on the Evident Identity Assurance Platform. We can help you reduce your risks by keeping user information off company servers and giving you access to a network of qualified, authoritative data sources.
Ready to start running verifications in minutes? Sign up for Evident’s self-service capability.