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What is an API and how can it help roofers?

In 2020, Heidi Ellsworth of Roofers Coffee Shop sat down with Jobba’s CFO, David Almario, and CEO, Scott Keith to talk about roofing technology during an episode of Roofing Road Trips. During the podcast, one of the biggest topics that was brought up was application programming interfaces (APIs). We’re sure you have probably heard this term a time or two during your roofing software search, but what exactly are APIs? And why are they important to contractors? 

“An API is nothing more than defining a standard in a way two applications can talk,” explained Scott. Many contractors use one technology for their accounting needs and another to manage their customers and maybe a third to manage service. Enabling those separate systems to talk to each other and share information is accomplished with APIs.

Scott cautions that APIs don’t solve problems. “Having an API doesn’t necessarily address the underlying needs of an organization. But, having an API with the fields identified in your application, that map in a way directly to another application, so that they’re useful, and have value to be used by that other application, are valuable to an organization.”

Scott shared that a lot of people will say that they have an API or a connection feature but it’s important to really understand what that means. Is the information that is being shared between the applications useful for your business?

He shared an example of what his team did at Jobba to make their API useful for contractors. “What we built in Jobba, was a complete ledger. Not to replace accounting systems, we’ll never be an accounting system, but we built a complete accounting ledger in our system so that with our API, we can map exactly the fields, down to the discrete level, directly into your accounting application so that it is absolutely valuable and useful to you when you’re using your accounting application.”

David agrees that what is important with an API is the workflow. “When does data go from system A to system B? And, does it go back? Where is the master ID maintained? There’s a lot of interesting questions around it, so when we start looking at integrating, and developing these connections with other software applications, those are the things we’re talking to our customers about,” said David.

The team at Jobba works closely with their customers to help them standardize their workflows and build standard practices. “All these things coming together really force a consistency that allows people to specialize in certain areas,” said David. “For example, the person that picks up the phone to take the service request is not the same person that’s jumping in the truck and driving out to the site. We use the example of Domino’s Pizza. The person that’s taking the order isn’t necessarily the person jumping in the car and delivering the pizza.”

When technologies work together, integrate, and talk to one another through APIs and integrations contractors are able to operate more efficiently and consistently. “You can do more with these technologies, it allows you to do parallel processes, giving your people the ability to do more with the same amount of folks on their team,” concluded David.

Jobba has the capability to integrate with some of the most used roofing applications on the market. Set up a quick demo today to learn how Jobba’s customizable roofing platform can work with your current processes.

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