Subscribe for expert
tips and access news

10 APIs making our clients' lives easier in 2015!

  —   6 February 2015   —   Code & Drupal

10 APIs making our clients' lives easier in 2015!

An Application Programming Interface (or API), allows different software (AKA, an application) to exchange data/information simply and seamlessly, opening up the opportunities for thousands of applications to become more useful and powerful - by making them work together.

We use these every day of our lives without actually realising. Perhaps one of the simplest to use/understand is the twitter API – developed by Twitter to allow integration with multiple platforms. It works by allowing requests for data from Twitter to be passed to the developer's application in the right format and design to deliver a seamless user experience. It gets even more complicated when you create a two-way API so that data can be requested and passed in both directions. But in doing so the potential to extend and utilise applications in interesting and useful ways is almost endless.

Here are examples of 10 APIs which we have either created, manipulated, enhanced or utilised for our clients.


In many ways, the fast paced, changeable nature of Social Media has resulted in the huge development of social APIs. 2014 brought us many apps and products being built as a result of APIs being opened up to outside developers.

We were no strangers to this ourselves. 2014 saw us develop Event Stream Live. ESL is a Twitter wall platform allowing chosen messages to be shown on a big screen at events and conferences.  The application searches the Twitter API for messages containing key words and hashtags chosen by the event organisers. These tweets are then moderated by an administrator before they are displayed to the audience.

2. Salesforce CRM Integration

A two-way integration linking the BAFTA website to the organisation’s customer relationship management (CRM) software. A members-only login section of provides access to exclusive content and features, such as the ability to connect with other members using built-in messaging tools and manage their subscriptions and payments.

The two-way integration utilises ‘Scribe’ (a middleware solution to link multiple data sources) to push and pull data between the website and the CRM, ensuring data is synchronised no matter where the data is entered or updated.

3. Email Marketing 

These are essential for modern marketeers looking to automate and collate data from web forms on their websites. One such module we have created provides a central location for dotMailer integration mechanisms. In not so technical terms, this means that we harness the dotmailer API to transfer details of users who have signed up for newsletters, mailshots etc from your site into your Dotmailer address book, a first of its kind for DotMailer integration with Drupal.

(3b) And we have done a similar integration with Mailchimp which is simple and seamless, using a selection of widgets we have been able to implement sign up forms for a variety of newsletters. This information is input by the user, transmitted through the API directly into the correct address book for the user to receive further correspondence.

4. Google mapping & Google Street View

For Clear Channel Direct (CCD) we have integrated a mapping functionality which allows website users visibility of all the CCD poster sites within the UK. Each site has been categorised based on the panel type and the listings are shown on the map as icons which are clickable for users to gain more information on each site, including it's exact location, the panel/poster type and its suitability for targeting.

Categorised as:

  • Digital
  • Billboards
  • Bus Shelters
  • Phone Boxes
  • Sainsbury's
  • Retail

Map icons look like:

Map of London with marked attractions

We are using Google’s Geo Service (API) that maps latitude and longitude, and match this with a comprehensive poster database to provide a proximity search based on a ‘loose phrase match’. The search is narrowed down to a county/area and it is possible to type in more refined search terms such as ‘Manchester’ and specific post codes to produce more accurate results in proximity order.

Users are then able to gain more detailed information by clicking on the icons and the actual street view appears as shown below:

Clear Channel billboard

Each site is populated with the full address of the site, the Google Street View (via an enhanced API), the panel ID and a gallery of images highlighting the product/sites.

5. WorldPay

WorldPay allows websites to take payments online. It is a well known and secure service that can be customized to obtain a solution for your website. The integration can range from simple to very complex depending on the requirements of the website. We have developed a fully functional payment system using various payment gateways, including Paypal and WorldPay for one of our financial clients George Banco. We have proven web services that allows WorldPay to talk to our systems, where we can process and store information.

6. Digital Asset Management Systems

We created a Drupal module to integrate with the Digital Asset Management system “Thirdlight”. Using the API to interface with the Thirdlight backend, end users are able to pick images to crop and manipulate and pull straight into their content on the Drupal site as well as files. Find out more about the Thirdlight Module which is available to download on

7. SMS / text messaging

Text messages are used all over the world and remain one of the most universal and ubiquitous methods of mass communication. It was a necessity for Access to integrate an SMS service that allowed us to send bespoke messages to potential customers for both security and to make the process of a particular transaction easier.

The SMS service we used had an API available. TextLocal allows us to send text messages on the fly to single or a group of mobile numbers. They even provide a service that allows you to use shortcodes and a ‘from’ name that appears as the sender when a text message is received.

8. Marketing Automation

Copernica is a multi-marketing platform that allows complex workflows. From this platform automated emails and text messages can be sent out to users stored on the system. Furthermore, profiles can be setup with Copernica that hold customized data about users and their habits. This can include as much information as needed, as the Copernica API allows dynamic fields to be created intuitively. To integrate with Copernica, we have made use of various ways of communicating. This includes SOAP, REST and JavaScript, all of which we have solid experience of using.

9. Live Chat

Live Chat is becoming more prevalent in the marketplace. This is a great way for users to interact quickly and effectively with customer and technical services departments. The concept is further improved by using real time analytics to know when and how to offer assistance with the browser. These can be further integrated into CRM systems, offer co-browsing modules and are easy to use across most web platforms.

10. Bespoke APIs

We expect to be developing more custom built APIs in 2015 as we ended 2014 with a number of customer requests in this area, as clients look for ways to optimise business processes to gain an advantage in their particular sectors. The first of which was to complete a custom module in conjunction with another third party supplier for our client, Sentinel. This API was based on SOAP requests, this allows the client's users to track and pullback pass and fail information regarding water samples that have been submitted by post in one easy to use dashboard.

So there you have it, 10 APIs that are making our clients' lives (and more importantly the lives of their customers) easier.

Our Partners / Accreditations / Networks

0161 872 3455

Sign up to our newsletter