To understand how Dell Boomi works, let us begin from the basic definition of Integration. Integration is the process of migrating data from one system to another. On the outside, this looks simple enough but when you want to merge two services like API and web servers, there is a bit of manipulation to be done. Boomi API will help you overcome the shortcomings of using the Web Service server connectors.
Difference between web services and API
You might have heard the term web services and API used interchangeably. The web service process controls the document flow made by client applications. You can change the standard processes you have into a web service process by assigning the Web Services server connector in the start step. You need to rest the base connector as the next shape in the process. All Dell Boomi web services are APIs but not all APIs are web servers.
What is a web service?
An application that makes itself accessible via the web is a web service. APIs are a set of rules and protocols to tell you how software components should communicate and this doesn’t have to be through the web. To see the workings of the web APIs we can use the familiar postbox analogy. If you are in front of a residential complex, you will see a stack of mailboxes in front of it. These mailboxes could be your APIs.
When you use an API, you are in effect using your mailbox. To communicate with a person in the residential complex, you send a letter to the mailbox. For this, you need to know the address. Similarly, when you use the web API, you need to have a web address. The building is the application with which one needs to integrate such as NetSuite or Salesforce. Say that you have the address to the building where you see many mailboxes. These mailboxes are the different services available in the API that is used. For instance, you can call different web services using Salesforce.
Using the API
The API will have the name of the web service needed for the application. For instance, if you need to create an invoice for every sale that is made, the things needed will include customer name, item sold, address, and amount. If one item is missing, say the amount, the invoice cannot be made. You can check the API documentation list to see what it does and what information it needs. All the needed information must be provided and there are options for doing additional work with options that will be provided with the API documentation. You can use Dell Boomi consultation service for all this and more. This is why API documentation is critical for making the API work.
Boomi API defines how web services should be exposed and behave. It also provides a common interface using which we can expose ODATA and SOAP service. You can use the same interface to handle the versioning and authentication of the service. You can also use loosely coupled services between the Boomi process and web service.