What is interoperability?
Interoperability is the ability of different software to seamlessly exchange data and interact with each other.
Since its discovery in the 1990s, this core principle of computing has allowed developers to build increasingly complex, feature-rich applications that connect with and leverage a wide range of external services and data sources.
APIs (application programming interfaces) promote interoperability between software by creating an interface upon which different applications can communicate and share data. In turn, software built with APIs is compatible and can work together effectively, even if they use different programming languages, architectures, or underlying technologies.
For example, interoperability allows Android users to send messages to Apple users. Though these two operating systems use different programming languages, interoperability allows you to send and receive messages without issues, regardless of your preferred device. In combination with APIs, it’s essential to the seamless and connected communications experience we know today.
What does interoperability enable?
Integration: You can integrate different APIs with various third-party applications and systems (e.g., support software and CRMs), allowing them to work together and share data seamlessly.
Data exchange: Interoperability facilitates data sharing between software and systems, enabling your app to access and use external data sources in real time.
Authentication: Interoperability ensures that users’ messaging data (e.g., chat history and contacts) can be synchronized across multiple devices to deliver a consistent experience.
Encryption and security: Interoperable systems can maintain secure end-to-end encryption, ensuring that message data is protected during transmission.
Scalability: By incorporating APIs that can handle increased workloads and user data, interoperability makes systems scale effectively.
Interoperability is a core principle of computer science and API functionality that enables the robust, interconnected digital ecosystems we know today.
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