Originally published by New Context.
Application programmable interfaces (APIs) allow programs to work together. They facilitate the exchange of information, making APIs essential for use in just about every application. A user doesn't need to understand all the complex actions needed to deliver data with an API. A weather app is a good example. Most apps that provide weather updates don't have thermometers in cities all over the world—they use an API to collect and deliver information to the user.
No code API platforms take this simplicity further by helping those with minimal coding experience leverage these tools. They can generate and connect APIs that people and companies need to customize solutions. This is a huge boost for businesses that may not have the funds or the talent to establish their own business processes and systems. However, it also comes with risks related to security. That's why it's wise to consider using platforms that build in security at the baseline.
The Risks and Benefits of No Code Platforms
Seventy-nine percent of CEOs have expressed concerns over their lack of access to technical staff. This issue was heightened by COVID-19 and the sudden digital transformation acceleration that most companies were forced to undertake. Businesses needed solutions—especially related to APIs—and they needed them fast. No code platforms helped fill the gaps by allowing organizations to develop custom solutions without technical expertise.
However, with rapid adoption comes risk. As many people with little experience developing programs enter the market, they'll likely overlook common DevSecOps practices that ensure security. No code alone doesn't guarantee there's no risk in a given program. There still must be checks and balances in place that enforce security standards. One good way to overcome this is to use no code API platforms that recognize and build in security practices.
7 No Code API Integration Platforms
The list of API integration platforms is virtually endless, and it will continue to grow as even more businesses leverage its possibilities. When seeking out these solutions, it's best to focus on options with built-in checks and balances. Here are a few popular programs:
- Salesforce: Salesforce is a heavily no code platform, and that includes its API integrations. Actions, rather than code, control the ability to connect to external APIs. Another essential part of the Salesforce ecosystem is security, as it allows companies to implement appropriate controls in protecting data.
- Appsmith: Appsmith works off of widgets and is heavily focused on visuals to help guide users on API connections and deployments. The program also encrypts all connections and does not store data, to ensure heightened security for users.
- Pipedream: Pipedream bills itself as a "low code" platform rather than a no-code one. It's particularly useful for leveraging another low code tool, IFTTT (if this, then that) that allows the user to create a series of actions with various dependencies without the need to code. The company has its own set of security best practices that guide users on the safest and most secure way to develop programs.
- NoCodeAPI: NoCodeAPI is considered a user-friendly tool for connections between tons of popular programs like Google Analytics, MailChimp, Google Sheets, and more. It encrypts all data through its cloud server.
- Xano: Xano is highly scalable as it leverages a PostgreSQL database for hosting data. It also can reportedly connect to any front end. It is another program that uses encryption as well as Secure Sockets Layer transmission.
- RestPoint: RestPoint isn't for creating APIs themselves. Instead, it allows the user to establish prototypes and beta tests. This tool enables developers to work out issues with APIs early and take appropriate actions while in sandbox mode.
- Sheetsu: This is another very specific tool that is designed to do one thing—connect Google Sheets to other programs. Users can leverage their existing spreadsheet as their database rather than changing its format.
- Apigee: The outlier on this list, Apigee is used by pro code and low code developers alike. Apigee has low-code GUIs to visually build new APIs, along with deeper tools to precisely tailor an API’s configuration. It is often used by pro coders to wrap legacy APIs with new functionality, allowing them to be used alongside newer API development, all controlled from a single interface.
Some of these no code API integration platforms deliver entire ecosystems, while others are designed for particular actions. In any case, it's vital to choose tools with built-in security to provide a safe experience while protecting data. Luckily, many companies offering solutions such as these recognize the need to introduce security as a baseline of the experience.