What on earth is an API?

3 min readOct 21, 2021


Are you wondering — how you can automatically move data from one system into another without entering it all manually?

Wait, you don’t have to google about it now. The obvious answer is to use anAPI.

But what on earth is an API?

What is an API? — It’s like building a doorway

It’s an Application Programming Interface — still sounds Latin to most of you?

An API is essentially like building a door, where you want the movement of information from one system to another. Once you’ve set it up, things move through the door seamlessly from one system to the other.

Let’s say you are an HR, and you have a few new employees joining. You are required to get their data that’s in the recruitment system into your payroll system.

Let, jump into an example:

Why would you ever do it manually again and again?

Here, you want the systems to speak to one another directly, removing the entire need to enter the data twice and reducing the risk of making mistakes.

How does it work?

The ‘door’ has written instructions on directing the data on how to get through it.

For instance, it might say things like ‘you can get through using your passport, wallet, and a key.’

More likely, it will be instructions that govern what the data looks like; it’s the format. So, in the example of your recruitment and payroll systems, is it ‘Full Name’ (one entry) or ‘First Name’ and ‘Last Name’ (two entries)?

Why is this useful?

It saves time. There’s no need for users (HR) to get involved and do anything — it’s all automated. You need to build the door. Once built, that baby will run itself.

Now you might argue — You would bulk download from one system, followed by a bulk upload into the other instead of integrating an API.

But, let’s get real — it requires time, effort, and lots of fighting with Excel.

An API is quicker much more efficient.

APIs and payroll software

Payroll software requires APIs that send the payroll software the information it needs to display it on the user’s screen. Tartan’s next-generation products and services enable real-time data connectivity to payroll systems through an API. We’re making it easy to get employment data through the door driven by user-consent, maintaining the industry-level security and privacy standards.

In summary…


To find out more about how we are solving the employment and income verification through payroll data, contact us to find out more.




Tartan is an employee consent-driven data exchange platform that enables real-time employment & income verification.