If your business process and workflow applications handle sensitive data or are in industries subject to privacy laws and regulations, adding encrypted email functionality can give you an edge. By incorporating secure email technology, you can reduce the risks associated with data theft, accidental exposure and regulatory compliance audits. An easy and fast way to add this functionality is to leverage email encryption application programming interfaces (APIs).
Application programming interfaces, or APIs, can be a blessing – or a nightmare. Use the right one and your application just expanded its reach and functionality, adding to your bottom line. Use the wrong one, and you’ll be in development for perpetuity – or worse.
Here are three things to look for when selecting email encryption APIs for securely moving data:
1. API depth and breadth. Depth and breadth give you control over more aspects of how the API works with your app. Look for multiple types of APIs and, ones that can operate at multiple levels including:
- Secure Messaging APIs. These are the APIs that send and retrieve data, usually by leveraging a standard email address or an internal one derived from a user’s account number. Look for APIs that can handle multiple types of data, including encrypted email, files and form data.
- Administrative APIs. Capabilities to look for here include things like password reset, managing users and their account settings, and integrating with Single Sign-On (SSO).
- Provisioning APIs. When the use of your application takes off and grows, so must your API. Look for the ability to programmatically provision service and on-board new users.
2. Full support from the API provider. In addition to standard consulting and ongoing technical guidance, look for:
- Software Development Kits (SDK) with multiple language support, including C#, VB.Net, Java and PHP, along with SOAP and REST protocols.
- Technical reference guides that accurately document each API function and data structure. Sloppy documentation could indicate subpar operations.
- Demos for each supported programming language, including working sample applications with documented source code that demonstrates the implementation.
3. Pre-production sandbox environment. A full service, fully contained, pre-production environment allows you to quickly and safely create, test and preview your application.
Look for these three things and you’ll be well on your way to a successful API integration.