Get ready to hear a new three-letter acronym a lot more in 2014: API. That stands for application-programming interface. If you’ve never heard of it, that’s by design—API is intended to be invisible to the end user. For example, if you’ve ever paid for something online, API processes are working behind the scenes to ensure your credit card information is correct and payment can be issued.
The agriculture industry is deploying more API in precision products to produce equally seamless experiences. For example, Growmark recently paired up with John Deere, using a wireless data transfer API so it can exchange data more quickly.
"Through this collaboration, we are making it easier for our crop specialists to work with their farmers using near real-time data," says Ron Milby, Growmark executive director of agronomy marketing.
Meanwhile, at AGCO, the buzzword is "interoperability." At the heart of the company’s Fuse Technologies initiative, it harnesses API to power seamless interaction with several precision products. Most recently, AGCO announced connectivity between Trimble’s Farm Works Software and AGCO’s VarioDoc and TaskDoc management systems. This eliminates the need for physical data transfers via USB flash drive. Again, the goal is seamless, easier-to-use products, says Levi Kettle, business area director for Trimble’s agriculture division.
"This new interoperability is an example of how our companies are working together to provide growers with the tools they need to better manage data," he says.