Why do you Need Open SaaS Standards and APIs?

Over time, enterprise software has witnessed several new developments in its creation, distribution, and utilization. As a result, today, high-tech businesses run their cloud-based solutions on their systems in a bid to improve the user experience and cost-effectiveness. In a nutshell, the industry has made considerable progress.

As a matter of fact, the modern-day software and service providers now do open business by utilizing Software as a Service (SaaS) as a primary software distribution model. However, in the ferociously competitive industry, if SaaS vendors really want to make sure that the demand for their software continues to grow, they should embrace Open SaaS standards and APIs (application-programming interface) to their software.

Before we through light on that, let us first explain to you:

What is API based SaaS?

The is a particular set of rules that software programs follow to interact and communicate with one another. It works as an interface between various apps and monitors their collaboration.

An open saas standards or public API based SaaS enables third-party developers to utilize the code and data from the software without any hassle and even integrate other programs with the original SaaS application.

These are a few examples of an open API based SaaS. Here we have highlighted the benefits of implementing public API in your SaaS tool.

1. Improves Functionality

We all have heard about Slack, the messenger app, which enables teams to collaborate with one another through a single platform. Though there are countless similar apps in the market, Slack outshines them all, owing to the large number of APIs integrated with the platform.

Twitter, Trello, Conversely, and Google Hangouts are among the many integrations currently available within this tool’s directory. This openness to integrate various apps within Slack has made it more functional and easier to use for professional teams worldwide.

Enhanced functionality is not a bad move. Frankly, developers are relentlessly looking out for solutions to enhance the functionality of their software in order to boost their return on investment (ROI). Having a public API based SaaS tool will enhance the value of your current offerings and help you attract more users as well as developers.

2. Solves Users’ Problems

Typically, businesses come up with products to solve a particular problem their customers are facing. But sometimes, a product alone fails to resolve the issues that the users face.

An ideal solution is to open up and invite other product creators to integrate with your SaaS product. The result will be a higher retention rate and a better overall satisfaction score.

Websites are a primary example in this regard. When the internet era began, it was a challenging task for many to create a fully functional website. But the content management systems such as WordPress did the trick for us. At present, WordPress powers over 40% of the internet and offers innumerable solutions in the form of themes and plugins.

This platform is a terrific example of an open API that integrates with third-party software and at the same time allows developers to come up with new ones.

3. Stimulates Growth

Persistently developing new services and features may prove too costly and time-consuming for any business, particularly a small firm.

By harnessing the power of the open API, various developers can make your SaaS product more useful and valuable without the added cost. A prime example is Gmail. There was a time when Hotmail and Yahoo were clearly dominating the email space.

But then came Gmail, and it didn’t take much time to outclass the top rivals, thanks to the many open APIs it has integrated. In fact, the email service has integrated over 22 APIs to make it the leading service in the market.

4. Create Infinite Possibilities

Let’s consider Google as an example here. We all know that the search engine is now regarded as the powerhouse of the tech industry. That’s because Google has collaborated with over 100 APIs to strengthen its position in the market. But it may surprise you that Google was the first to implement an open API.

Another example is the e-commerce industry. By leveraging e-commerce SaaS providers, brands have enhanced customers’ shopping experience by providing them essentials like shopping carts.

For example, the API2Cart offers a public API that provides access to over 30 different shopping carts at the same time. By using a public API-based SaaS tool, the vendors were able to offer their customers more options and enhance their functionality.

Is There Any Disadvantage to Using Public API?

Like any other software, potential security risks are there when you open your code to third parties. Furthermore, developers are required to follow certain guidelines as mentioned on the API license.

So, make sure to research thoroughly before starting using an API. Although the benefits are infinite, still it’s better to be aware of the terms and conditions prior to complying with the company.

What About Open Standards in the SaaS Application Development Process?

More and more apps are built every day, so it is vital to realize the benefits, value, and market need for open standards in the SaaS development process. Bearing this in mind, here are the top reasons why open standards are deemed essential for app development.

1. Fewer Limitations

Adopting open standards means application developers won’t have to stick with a specific vendor or technology. It’s the market that decides which technologies are more viable.

Since specifications are known and open, vendors are able to design unique applications that adhere to standards.

This streamlines development while paving the way for freedom of choice and market-led competition.

2. Streamline Interoperability & Development

Open SaaS standards building blocks and establishing protocols help make applications more interoperable and functional. Not only does it streamline development, but it also relinquishes vendor-imposed boundaries to write or read data files by enhancing data exchange and interchange.

3. Better Protection

When a mobile app becomes obsolete and its file types are proprietary, it becomes extremely challenging, if not impossible, to convert that data so it can be used on a new app. Fortunately, data and file types remain completely protected with open SaaS standards even if the application becomes obsolete.

In other words, when a file type follows open standards, the new app can either use it or easily convert the data.

4. Greater Choice & Variety

Would you prefer to choose the dishes that tempt your appetite or like to be forced to pick something from a limited list of entries? Well, open SaaS standards are pretty much like offering a buffet to app developers.

This particular approach allows developers to match their needs to vendors without locking themselves into using a single vendor when it comes to app development.

5. Easily Port Apps

Since the technical implementation follows standardized guidelines and rules, and the APIs and interfaces are known, it becomes easier to port apps from one platform to another. Moreover, lessons learned from development on a platform can also be ported to inform other platform development without much training.

On the other hand, proprietary apps typically require more training, knowledge transfer, and ramp-in because there isn’t much information available about them publicly.

Is There a Disadvantage to Using Open Standards?

Experience has shown that using open SaaS standards and APIs has its limitations. A major concern for businesses is increased competition. How? When you provide access to intellectual property, it may aid and abet rival copycat standards.

However, you can negate this problem by ensuring that you publish a standard only when you have a large installed user base, so positive network effects make it look less attractive for the first movers.

Perhaps, one may think of more reasons that make open SaaS standards a perfect match for app developers.


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