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Processes

Working with APIs in the Service Desk

By Cleo Santos on June, 6 2017

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Cleo Santos

The greatest demand that we have found in our day to day as developers for our customers has been to create integrations between products they use. There are easy solutions for that.

Integrations used to be a time-consuming process, since the developer has to figure out how each product that needs to be integrated functions, in order to develop the integration. Thanks to APIs (application program interfaces), the initial effort has become drastically smaller, since the developer only needs to understand how to interact with this interface to authenticate, read, or edit data. Plus, it increases efficiency and your overviews as a Service Desk.

The case for APIs

Especially now, with the rapid growth in the use of mobile apps and the emergence of IoT (Internet of Things), it has become clear that APIs has become the standard approach of sharing up-to-date information and integrating systems with each other while keeping the systems separated. It just makes more sense than multidisciplinary systems or a standardised system.

Multidisciplinary systems are costly. Bug fixes are equally expensive and require more time and effort. Another inherent problem is the reluctance it creates for adding new features or switching to new technologies.

Standardised systems, like the SOA (Service-Oriented Architecture) architecture, when conceived, brought software closer to a paradigm shift by standardizing the information exchange language between the extremes of the system. It was believed that centralising all this communication on a single channel, called the Enterprise Service Bus, would make life easier for people. In reality, centralising brings the same problems back to multidisciplinary systems: if the only communication channel becomes unavailable, the impact on the company's business is high. The personnel responsible for maintenance must be highly specialized and there is a lot of effort involved.

APIs and Service Desks

In the Service Management trade, the principle of separation of responsibilities defines that we must have dedicated solutions addressing some specific problem. You have already have a centralized Service Management tool in place, but some functions may need to be added. That is, a smaller IT service desk solution must be added to meet the IT service desk needs, or an HR solution to meet the needs of the HR processes.

What if we happen to need that HR data in IT for some reason? In that case, we integrate the communication between the two previous solutions. If we follow this approach to every problem in an organization, we will eventually have a map of interconnected micro services.

Each of these micro services can be integrated using APIs to let them discover other services, connect and collect information from many different services to execute a required process. Maintenance is also minimal since we can focus on one function without it affecting anything else. So the impact on the business if anything goes wrong is small.

If the API is created in a systematic way, an API can automatically access any required data, such as number of calls, changes, reservations, etc. in a Service Desk environment to

Ultimately, you don’t need to work with different sources to pull data from different sources. You can for example have a dashboard that aggregates this information up to different views, depending on the profile of the user, like the customer experience on sites such as Amazon or Netflix.

For some of the application TOPdesk integrates with easily, check out our Marketplace.

 

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