EasySwitch XML – an interview with our CTO

Word around the office is that we have added a new feature to our API platform. Not being a real techie, I decided to quiz our CTO, AJ Holloway, about this new feature. Here’s what I learned!

Jason Wiseman: Ok, so everyone’s talking about this new “EasySwitch XML” – what can you tell me about it?

AJ Holloway: Of course! Our EasySwitch XML platform allows our customers to dictate an XML format in which they’d like to receive their data instead of us prescribing one which their development team will have to re-code for.

Jason: I’m sorry, what? I honestly have no idea what any of that means. I don’t even know what XML is. Let’s back up a bit here…

AJ: Haha, my apologies! The basic idea of an “API” is that it allows our customers to plug our data directly into their products. Our gasoline in their engines, if you will. “XML” is just the format that we deliver it to our customers in. In any normal situation, our customers will program their products and tools to request data from our system. Our system will then send back the results and their system can use the data as if it was in-house. Does that make sense?

The right solution will make things easier

Jason: I think so, but just to make sure I understand: if I have a website and I want to show your SSN Trace data on it to my customers, I just ask my developers to connect to your API? Then when my customers make a request, my website will contact Martin Data and get the results for my customer?

AJ: You’ve got it. Your website can present those results to the customer in whatever way you want also.

Jason: Ok, that makes sense. Now what’s “EasySwitch” and what does it add to this process?

AJ: Actually, it doesn’t add anything to the process – it takes something away. We’ve found that in this industry, lots of businesses already have a data provider that they’ve been using for a long time. If they switch providers, they don’t want to have to reprogram their entire platform to accommodate our XML format. So instead we’ll change our format to match what they’re receiving right now.

Jason: That’s it?

AJ: It sure sounds like an arbitrary modification, but some companies are have development teams that are months – or even years behind schedule. This allows them to largely bypass an entire development cycle. It turns our data into a “drop in” solution – very little programming needed at all.

Jason: That makes a lot of sense – sometimes business moves faster than IT…

AJ: Hey now, was that a jab?

Jason: Thank you for your time! As always, I appreciate it

AJ: Any time!

I definitely have a better grasp on EasySwitch now, it makes a lot of sense to make the format suit the client, and not the other way round, and I’ll make sure to hit up AJ for more insights soon!