The term "API" gets thrown around a lot nowadays, and rightfully so. Successful implementation of APIs, like those used in text messaging services, can have a huge affect on a business, and bring a company from obscurity to profitability. But what are they exactly and what do they do?

API is short for application programming interface and it defines how a specific system can communicate with others. 

APIs are a huge part of what makes modern software so easy to use. Applications no longer exist in a vacuum. With cloud computing and wireless networks so prevalent, it would be foolish not to find a way to utilize those to your advantage. APIs facilitate the communication and integration of these systems.

The taxi service Uber is a perfect example of how APIs can be used well. Uber offers rides to customers through their mobile app. The app is Uber's only way of interacting with customers prior to them getting into one of their cars. Customers can setup rides, pay and use a map to track the estimated time of arrival all through the app.

Instead of investing large amounts of money into developing all these systems individually, Uber used existing APIs to do all the work for them. By combining the APIs of Google Maps for their tracking software, Oracle for databasing, payment software and text messaging software for notifications, Uber was able to skip lengthy and costly app development and beat competitors to the market.

Uber up-ended the taxi market through APIs and is now valued at around $50 billion, according to Fortune.

APIs are allowing everything and everyone to become connected quickly and easily and it's become apparent that a business' success or failure will be increasingly dependent on their successful integration. 

Swift SMS Gateway offers the SMS API and gateway needed to easily leverage the speed and convenience of text messaging.