Isn’t the multi-tool awesome? You know what I’m talking about. From the Swiss army knife of decades past to the current era Leatherman, people depend on these slim tools that easily slip into their pockets or onto their belts, replacing numerous individual tools. The multi-tool hasn’t supplanted highly specialized tools but allows the average Joe or Jane to complete small jobs without walking back to a toolbox or driving to a hardware store.
What does this have to do with downstream energy, you ask? Stay with me.
The toolbox tangle
How many software programs do you or your team use each day? One for monitoring market moves, one to optimize possible buy/sell decisions, and one to execute orders? Isn’t that kind of like carrying around several different screwdrivers, wrenches, pliers, and a hammer? Plus, how do you get the output of one software program into the next in your decision chain? Is the data even compatible? How much manual translation and data entry do you have to do? Is there a better way?
Enter the elegance
What if you could automatically access all the data you needed in your main trading program without lifting a finger? What if it then automatically outputs compatible data seamlessly into any other tool without error? Wouldn’t that be like assembling your very own software multi-tool? Sounds too good to be true? It’s not. Enter the magic of APIs.
An application programming interface (API) makes it easy to transfer information from one software program to another — or one computer to another — without individual data conversion programming. An example of this is publishing a photo from your iPhone to social media. Apple has published APIs, alongside their proprietary software, to allow social media companies to access the data captured from the iPhone’s camera and automatically move it where it needs to go for those social media platforms to recognize and publish it. No additional user activity is required. The API does all of the work, seamlessly transferring data between apps and protecting the source code IP critical to each company.
Professional business software programs also have APIs, which is important for refined fuels traders. Whatever software you’re using right now to observe the market, there’s an API that can help you move that data automatically into the software you use to execute your buy/sell decisions, enabling faster transactions at more profitable opportunities.
The APIs within DTN ProphetX® allow you to script behaviors and transmission of data to and from pretty much any program compatible with API plug-ins. You can build a custom data flow, bow to stern, to make your operations more efficient and convenient.
Explore DTN ProphetX
Learn more about DTN ProphetX and get in touch with us for additional details on our APIs at DTN.com.