Commercial Off-The-Shelf (COTS)In recent years, many businesses have looked into using web solutions to improve their access to commercial off-the-shelf products, with a particular emphasis on using API interfaces to smooth the use and development. Here are the things you need to know about this process.

What are API interfaces?

API stands for “Application Programming Interface,” and refers to a set of programming tools used to create software. These can be thought of as a “high level” tool that programmers use — for example, if a developer needed to query several different types of databases, they might create an API that could access each database and compile their responses into a single output format.

In the practical sense, APIs make it possible to remotely control computers and servers, allowing the company to access their other software from smartphones or other devices.

What are the benefits of implementing this?

Different companies will see different benefits, based primarily on the software they use and how valuable access over the web is. However, there are a few common benefits that businesses tend to see, including:
  • Streamlined access: Many companies don’t need to use commercial off-the-shelf products exactly as they are. In fact, in many cases, the software can be unpleasantly complex and distracting. A web solution allows a company to access and display only the parts of the software that it actually needs, trimming excess buttons and controls into something more useful to the task at hand.
  • Mobile use: Many people prefer to work on the go — whether it’s walking across the office to collaborate with someone or finishing up some work on the way home, mobile access means they’re not cut off from things just because they aren’t in front of their desk.
  • Customization: In addition to its other features, web solutions can provide new features to off-the-shelf software, essentially making it a hybrid between a prepackaged product and a fully customized piece of software. This is ideal for companies who need just a few small changes to the software and don’t want to spend time or money on a lengthier development cycle.
As you can see, implementing a web solution for your existing off-the-shelf software offers substantial benefits for usability — and, in turn, tends to lead to improved productivity for the people using it. If you think web solutions may be what your company needs, contact our team at ETHANY today for a free consultation.

We’ll take a look at what your software currently does and what you want it to do, then help you understand the best route to achieve those goals. Don’t delay — the sooner your web solutions are implemented, the sooner you’ll be able to start enjoying their benefits.
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