RESTful API: The Secret Sauce in Better Manufacturing ERP


Integration and data access are essential to success in managing fabrication and assembly. Depending on the scale of a company, according to PwC, as many as 100 different systems may be used to facilitate customer service, sales management, planning and scheduling, purchasing and much more. While small and mid-sized manufacturers may limit the number of total systems in use to 10 or fewer, the ability to handle needs necessitates a robust, integrated software suite. 

The scope and capability of data-based decision making can quickly engulf startups and manufacturers new to digital processes. Lost savings may result, but companies that understand how to leverage technology via a RESTful API can establish a strong digital infrastructure and reap major benefits.abas ERP uses a RESTful API, so other companies and their systems or platforms can integrate with our ERP with less stress and efficient processes.


Why RESTful API Excels Over Other API Forms.

The stateless aspect of a RESTful API allows for redeployment in the event of a failure. Unfortunately, these codes appearing on web browsers may appear for a number of reasons beyond an actual inability to find a given resource, such as change in network status.

Within the RESTful API, a simple redeployment occurs automatically, allowing for the action to be completed as required between two systems. This is result of the binding between the API and how the HTTP call is decoded. 

In other words, REST does not take up valuable resources while attempting to complete a function.

A secondary reason for the preferred use of a RESTful API in manufacturing exists. While a company could use HTTP calls that are not REST-based, the amount of coding knowledge necessary to complete these actions through URLs manually is extensive. 

Manual coding represents an unnecessary expenditure, and even in light of other coding technologies, such as Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP), REST is still superior. SOAP is older than REST and requires considerably more time to write and edit. According to Swati Dhingra via TechTarget, additional aspects of SOAP include:

  • Extra layers of complexity and rigidity.
  • Added processing time. 
  • Need for conversational state and contextual information. 
  • Poor efficiency. 

Meanwhile, REST offers:

  • The ability to restart a server to check if interactions survive. 
  • Greater flexibility in obtaining information.
  • Faster processing. 
  • Ease in integration with existing resources.

Remember REST leverages less bandwidth and coding expertise to complete a given function.

Why RESTful API is important for ERP

Why Having a RESTful API Is Essential to Your ERP.

The ERP is the system of record for all processes and activities within a facility. It gives manufacturers a full view into the productivity, efficiency and operability of the shop floor, procurement, logistics and more. Managers use this information to make decisions relating to schedules, complete quotes for potential customers and meet the sudden spikes in demand during peak seasons. With technology growing in scope and capability, the power of an ERP is limited to the degree it can be integrated with other systems inside and outside of your company. Integration is essential to automation, and automating as many resources as possible helps your company stay competitive 

Since a RESTful API allows for the broad integration of any platform; it is the industry standard for integrating an ERP with more packages and applications, as well as those that have yet to be developed. It streamlines integration, giving your in-house team the opportunity to focus on other needs. In addition, as an industry standard, more talented experts can work with the API.

Efficiency gains in manufacturing IT equate to company-wide digital transformation and efficiency gains. Choosing an ERP that uses a RESTful API allows for platforms and services to easily integrate with the ERP and vice versa.  If either ERP or the other system is missing an API, it will considerably reduce the scope of what can be done with the integration. 

Now, there are some concerns that exist over cybersecurity, but it is not the RESTful API itself that is at risk, explains Vice President of Information Systems at abas USA Nicolas Dormont. 

A secure connection is made between the on-premise system and abas cloud services, which occurs over an SSL certificate. Since the user does not open any INBOUND ports on the on-premises network, a cyber-vulnerability is considerably reduced.

A RESTful API should always be part of the criteria when selecting systems for your business, including an ERP.

Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and REST

Manufacturing RESTful API-Based ERP and Infrastructure-as-a-Service at abas ERP Enable Turnkey Service.

The need for better, flexible and secure system makes up one of the key distinctions of abas ERP. Instead of creating system environments from scratch, requiring advanced knowledge of coding and system configuration, abas ERP leverages both a RESTful API and offers infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) to enhance the IT strategy for all parts of your supply chain and customers. Since a RESTful API is the standard for integrating systems, it is important to understand how an IaaS functions and benefits an organization. 

What Is Infrastructure-as-a-Service?

IaaS refers to the use of outside resources to streamline IT needs, especially those that are typical of most businesses. Since the IaaS provides the proverbial leg-work, your in-house team can focus on the top prioritizes that are unique to your business.  IaaS gives manufacturers an opportunity to achieve immediate access to many IT needs, including cloud-based resources and on-premises needs, such as connected machinery.

With profitability in fabrication and assembly tied to the prevention of bottlenecks and faster service, investment costs of new, comprehensive platforms are hard to justify. However, IaaS transforms the high cost and lengthy process of IT infrastructure into a subscription-based model. As noted by State Tech Magazine, IaaS also offers the following benefits:

  • Lasting cost savings. 
  • Scalability and flexibility.
  • Faster time to market.
  • Disaster recovery, business continuity and high availability support. 

What Does IaaS Look Like?

IaaS reflects the connection of existing software and technology into an overarching platform at abas ERP. IaaS puts all necessary servers, management portals and systems at the fingertips of all types of organizations, including smaller businesses with limited IT resources as well as larger companies. IaaS reduces the risk of disruption from taking entire systems offline just to access a new system. 

Through abas Connect, abas provides an integrated, cloud-based platform to reduce interface maintenance costs and ensure consistent user experiences. abas Connect converts messages and handles routing to streamline data exchange and adapt to the changing needs of your business. This is crucial to using the newest systems and technologies as they are developed and released by other businesses. Ultimately, it reduces the amount of coding experience necessary to leverage a RESTful API to its fullest potential. 

What Is a RESTful API?

A RESTful web service, also known as a RESTful API, asserts TechTarget, uses representational state transfer (REST) technology. The RESTful API uses many HTTP functions, including these most common four:

  • GET to access and retrieve data. 
  • PUT to change the state of or update data.
  • POST to create a resource.
  • DELETE to remove a resource.

These functions take advantage of HTTP methodologies through the RFC 2616 protocol. In other words, a small black appears with unclear implementation details. When a call is entered, nothing is retained by the RESTful service. In other words, data is acted upon, but it does not detract from other IT resources. This is what makes RESTful APIs excellent for use in cloud-based platforms. 

It’s also important to understand that creating an action in a RESTful API does require some IT experience. The distinction is that it requires less complexity than other types of APIs. For more information, Smashing Magazine offers a quick rundown on some of the more technical aspects of creating a specific call within a REST API.  

What Does It Mean for Digital Success in Your Organization?

The right digital strategy lessens the burden of creating, maintaining and using technology. Through a powerful, simple RESTful API, manufacturers tap into the vast resources within abas ERP. Streamlining IT in manufacturing through a RESTful API and IaaS keeps spend under control and ensures data-based decision making, increasing productivity and efficiency.

download the IIoT how-to guide

Learn about other trends impacting the Fabrication and Assembly industry in our guide, How to Leverage IIoT with Modern ERP

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