When the worldwide web was first created in the 1980s, its "web" nature was limited to linking documents together. For example, an article on the website for The New York Times about Microsoft would link the word Microsoft to Microsoft's website. One could click on the Microsoft name and be transported to their website. It was simple but revolutionary.
Today, the web continues to link documents (like this one), but has evolved to link data together also. If one website has data to share, it provides an API, or application programming interface that another website can use to retrieve the shared data. This communication is known as an integration between the two websites. Integrations power the interconnectedness of today's web.
Let's give you an example. Harvest is a time tracking application used by over 40,000 companies including Finite Wisdom. We use it to track the number of hours we bill each day to each of our clients. Harvest provides an API that one can use to retrieve this information and present it on your own website or web application.
To demonstrate an integration with the Harvest API, we have created a small demo application that one can use to summarize the hours that two of us here at Finite Wisdom have billed to each of our clients. You can choose to summarize by day, week, month, quarter or year, either this (e.g. this week) or last (e.g. last month).
You can try this demo application yourself. Please realize that this is real-time data - as we record our time each day, you will see the relevant numbers update: today, this week, this month, this quarter and this year.