What Is an API and How Can I Streamline Operations by Using One?

We explain how using an API can save you money

A colourful background covered with numerous words, including API, software, computer, application programming interface, and hardware.
Are you wondering "What is an API?" If so,
read this article to learn what an API is and
how using one can streamline your operations.

The term API is an acronym for application programming interface. Simply put, an API is a way for your web site, application, or software program to talk directly to an ordering interface without having to visit another web site first. For example, with our editing services API, bloggers can send their blog posts right from their blogging software into Scribendi.com for a quick pre-publishing check with the click of a button. Printing companies can include us as an à la carte service. With our editing services API, we are an editing services supplier to dozens of other sites and programs.

From a technical standpoint, what is an API?

As briefly explained above, API is a term used in programming to describe an interface of a system or component. The API exposes a portion of functionality that can be utilized in calling codes.

APIs are available in many forms, ranging from static, code level APIs (e.g., objects to perform a specific task like translation or database queries), to third party APIs for integrating web services or other data into an application (e.g., RSS or news feeds).

APIs are extremely important as they tell us not only what is available to us but also how to use and interpret the results from calls into the API. In the case of web APIs, these may be XML requests and the response may need to be interpreted in a particular manner—there may be multiple error states that need handling or the returned data could be too complex to decode. In most cases, APIs exist to make life easier for developers.

Our editing services API is a web-based XML system. It receives well-formed XML documents and provides an XML response. All requests to the API must be signed using a public/private key and a signing hash must be included in every request. The XML API is encapsulated in the Scribendi.com PHP API Client library. This pre-rolled abstraction layer allows the API to be called programmatically from within PHP without having to build and call the services manually.

Why should I use Scribendi.com’s editing services API?

Our editing services API will allow clients and colleagues to search for our services and get quotes, place and manage orders, review the status of orders, and review completed documents from any user interface (web site or application). Using our API will ensure that all of your documents are professionally edited and proofread through your interface, allowing you to focus on your core strengths and offerings. You can feel confident that your documents can be edited from anywhere, whether on the web or a mobile device. We can apply your house style guide if you have one, and we handle most file formats. You will also be able to access services quickly through the Scribendi.com editing services API.

Ways you can use Scribendi.com’s editing services API:

  • Create a corporate interface to allow your company employees to submit documents to be edited by Scribendi.com from your company’s applications or intranet
  • Seamlessly resell our services on a white label basis—either on their own, or as part of a value-added, à la carte style option to complement your existing products and services
  • Create a mobile application for sending documents to be edited on the go
  • Create a plug-in for a software program to allow your users to send documents with the click of a button

There you have it! Everything you need to know about what an API is and why we’ve decided to use one. Register for our editing services API now, to see how we can help save you time and money.


Another handy tool that we've developed is our WordPress Plugin, which links to our blog editing services. If you're a blogger, try out our WordPress Plugin to see if it's right for you. Also, Scribendi.com has published an e-book, How to Write a Blog, that explains how to write a blog, from beginning to end, in seven easy steps.

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