Digital building blocks for innovation

16 may 2024
Digital building blocks
Innovation is accelerating and becoming smarter thanks to the sharing and combination of ideas, as well as organizations leveraging each other's knowledge and solutions. APIs play a pivotal role in this process: they are the digital building blocks for innovation by making valuable data easily accessible.

Imagine wanting to display a digital map on your website but having to create the map itself first. Or, if you're selling flight tickets online, imagine having to search through the databases of twenty airlines for each customer inquiry. Without the digital sharing of information and functionalities, innovation progresses slowly and laboriously. That's why we believe in the power of APIs.

How APIs Work

An Application Programming Interface (API) is how different types of software and systems shake hands with each other. They are digital agreements that enable diverse systems to communicate with each other. This allows businesses to utilize each other's information or functionalities. All online, without having to purchase an entirely new digital system. There are APIs that share data, for example, from the CBS database or weather forecasts. And APIs that share functionalities. Think of video call software that you no longer develop or install yourself, but integrate directly into a website or app via an API.

Reusable Building Blocks

The swift handshake between software systems is convenient as it makes information easily accessible. But perhaps even more important for innovation, APIs are reusable building blocks. Anyone looking to expand their own software or system can use one or more APIs for this purpose. Want to display the collection of the Rijksmuseum in your app? Want your customers to log in via Facebook? Want to convert a phone conversation into written text? There are APIs available for all these purposes. Developers share their solutions, eliminating the need for everyone to reinvent the wheel.

KPN Developer Portal

The API market is growing explosively. More and more organizations are providing access to their functionalities through API integrations. KPN embraces this development. To make APIs easily accessible, we have launched the KPN Developer Portal, an online marketplace for APIs. This includes integrations in areas such as communication (video calls or SMS alerts) and security (APIs for passwords, PIN codes, or phone number recognition). With the Developer Portal, we make our own services and those of our partners accessible so that anyone can try out these APIs directly.