API Integration: How Much Time to Set Aside

The question of ”how long does it take for someone to integrate your API?’ has come up a lot lately in various situations. In this article, I wanted to paint a better picture of what that looks like.

There are a mix of factors that should be considered for your integration, including available resources, what solution you are plugging the API into, and whether you have someone who can do the work of the integration. For example, where you want to plug in our API will have a direct impact on the resources you are going to need when integrating. Do you need someone who knows Java or .net, or do you need someone familiar with Salesforce or Marketo?

If you need to integrate an API into code, then you or your resources should have at least a familiarity of the programming language currently deployed in your solution. However, if you need to inject our API into a platform such as Salesforce or Marketo, then you may be looking at perhaps a marketing technologist or more admin skill level person that can handle more of a plug and play scenario that involves adjusting settings.

Depending on what you are integrating with, there are three main types of personas you can group people into, each of which require different amounts of time and assistance in getting an integration project done. In any case, however, these people will all need to have a good degree of knowledge about the surrounding process and business rules that will need to be implemented.

Let’s look at each of these three groups:

Group 1: The super knowledgeable

This person has done this before many times over and is going to need little help with the integration. They may just want to look at our development guide so they can see the endpoints they need to hook up to and the format and field names coming back from the web service API. For setting up the call to the API, this person is going to need little more than 20 minutes.

Group 2: Strong coder or strong platform admin

This person doesn’t call APIs that often, but has done it before. In this category the person will be integrating into code, plugging into a platform, or both. They will have a few questions about the API and may request a guide or overview to help them with integrating into a platform. We have materials that will help with both code and plugging into many platforms which they will want to look through. This person is going to need closer to a couple of hours to get our API integrated into their system.

Group 3: Relatively new to coding or platform administration

This person has never really dealt with APIs before. This situation is more of a grey area because it depends on how hands-on the person is. These people will generally need more guidance and may even need professional services to accomplish the job. The time it will take in this category will depend on this person’s inclination to learn something new.

We have many resources to help show someone like this how to integrate our services, and this will make the process much smoother. For example, we have sample code for web forms that can be dropped into several scenarios and can also be repurposed to fit most applications. Someone with very little experience calling web APIs should be able to navigate our documentation and get rolling in a day.

Customizing these estimates to your situation

There will certainly be other groups beyond the categories I have simplified here. So, if you find that you don’t fit into one of these specifically, you can still use them as a guide for evaluating the time it will generally take to integrate our API services. As you can see, the amount of time involved is typically very short.

Another part of the integration, not to be forgotten, is more about implementing your business logic and what you do with your data before you send it to our API for validation, as well as when the results come back.

We can give you recommendations and best practices based on what we have seen in the industry as to how certain situations are typically handled, so you can have a good idea for how to set up your solution. The time it takes to do this end of the implementation is a lot more variable and is based on the complexities of what solution(s) you are trying to achieve. We here to work through the process with you by providing our cutting-edge solutions along with our recommendations.

How we can help

Here is a link to a search of our blogs that will display various documents on integration along with several tutorials. If you can’t find something you need, let us know and we’ll do our best to put it together. Along with this, I have additional links to our developer guides, sample code and quick look-ups. We work to make every integration as smooth as possible and will go a long way to help, including offering our professional services to get you across the finish line. Let us know what we can do to help make your implementation a success.

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