Application programming interfaces (APIs) are gaining popularity in business, because of their ability to automate communication between disparate software systems.
As InfoWorld said recently, they “…hide complexity from developers, extend systems to partners, organize code, and make components reusable.”
BlackLine’s APIs act as two-way streets, exchanging data seamlessly between BlackLine and other applications—from ERP systems to management dashboards. Because the APIs automate the import and export processes, they enhance the performance of the data transfers.
Checking Import Status
The import APIs strengthen the integrity of import processes by adding a status function.
“Some customers are importing data into BlackLine every 15 minutes,” says Stephen Wolfman, BlackLine’s Director of Product Management.
“They can check with the status API to make sure the imports are successful. They don’t have to go and look for the file server, and they know the data hasn’t been corrupted—which can sometimes happen when it’s going between disconnected systems.”
BlackLine promises to continue building intelligence into the APIs to provide additional information about transfer errors, further streamlining the process.
Export to Tableau
Export APIs let finance and business managers trigger customized process workflows in BlackLine from centralized dashboards.
“This means that a business analyst using a dashboard like Tableau can call up the data from customized BlackLine reports, without having to log on to BlackLine,” Wolfman says. “The user can then easily compare the BlackLine results to other business KPIs to create multi-dimensional management reports.”
The reports could also route to an ERP system to review a particular transaction, or to a financial disclosure report to verify an account certification. Wolfman notes that users can schedule exports—daily or weekly—depending on when they’re needed.
“The APIs ensure data integrity by tightly coupling operations systems with BlackLine,” he says. “This helps keep processes moving and informed, in Accounting and across the organization.”
Read this blog to discover why digital transformation begins with data integrity and process excellence.