What is an API?
An API (Application Programming Interface) is a set of programming instructions and standards that developers use to access a software application.
An API is best thought of as a connector for a software system. This connector is designed to make it very easy for 3rd party developers to build their own product / integrated solutions without having to learn the details of the software and have experience developing for the product. As a result development becomes easier and faster, and the software system becomes significantly more extendable.
Why does ACT! need an API?
ACT! needs an API for these reasons:
With an API, integration with other databases and processes can be more advanced and provide big efficiency gains. An API removes the need for manual intervention and similar outmoded processes such as import/export and synchronization.
Make ACT! more broadly available to the development community:
With an API, developing good quality integrations and custom solutions will be faster and easier because developers don't need extensive knowledge of the ACT! SDK (Software Development Kit). As such you have a wider choice of developers, perhaps even your own web developer.
Many competing CRM products already have an API:
To be competitive with other CRM’s such as SugarCRM and Salesforce.com ACT! needs to have more accessible and easier integration. The best way to achieve this is via an API.