Learn what Alloy Unified API is and how it can help save you both time and money while streamlining your development processes.

Welcome to Alloy's Unified API documentation site! If you've landed here and are trying to figure out what a Unified API is, fortunately, you've stumbled onto the right place.

A Unified API (also known as a "UAPI" or a "Universal API") is an API that connects multiple distinct – yet related – services together under one umbrella. UAPIs conjoin multiple different third party APIs (also known as apps) together under a common schema. Why might this be useful?

Let's look at an example:

Let's say you work at a financial institution and your company regularly underwrites loans of all types to small businesses. Like many of the businesses you underwrite, StoreCo runs an online hat shop hosted on a number of ecommerce platforms like Shopify, eBay, BigCommerce, WooCommerce, Adobe Commerce (Magento), Amazon, Wix, Etsy, etc – to name a few. To best evaluate how much StoreCo (and similar companies like StoreCo) should be eligible for, you'll need to get an accurate picture of StoreCo's financial picture (i.e. store revenue, number of orders, etc).

As mentioned earlier, StoreCo uses a variety of online storefronts to sell its products – Amazon, Etsy, eBay, Shopify, etc. You'll need to build atop every one of these integrations – something that is time consuming, tedious, and most importantly, difficult. Each integration requires domain expertise to best understand how it works and which fields you should map to.


Fortunately, this is where Alloy's Unified API comes into play. With Alloy's Unified API, we map all these 3rd Party Apps to a common model so you can easily build and launch integrations at scale – with ease.

Figure 1.1 – How Unified API works

As seen in Figure 1.1 above, Alloy's Unified API maps all 3rd Party App fields to a common model and performs regular data syncs to ensure data integrity.

In Figure 1.1 above, we refer to "you" as the ISV (also known as an "Independent Software Vendor"). As an ISV, you will implement the Unified API into your product. Your clients/users (i.e. the folks who need to connect their online storefronts to determine how large a loan they're eligible for) are known as "end users".

Alloy Automation provides various APIs to make it easy and quick to embed our Unified API into your product.

The Technology

Alloy Unified API relies on an advanced mechanism of data queues, process automations, and field mappings to ensure that the data we send you is always up to date and in sync.

Behind the scenes, from the moment an end user connects their storefront to us, Alloy's UAPI kicks off a series of actions. First, Alloy Unified API performs a historical sync to fetch up to two years (this can be configured for longer durations) of historical data from the 3rd Party App. We also subscribe to all relevant webhooks and events to ensure any incoming data changes are captured.

Simultaneously, Alloy's UAPI also maps the individual connector's fields to a common model we've defined. This data is then stored in the Alloy UAPI Cache.

When an ISV queries the Alloy UAPI to fetch the financial data needed to underwrite the loan, all that data is instantly accessible at your fingertips. With Alloy Unified API, the data for one app is consistent across others, meaning that you can build a Shopify integration in minutes and instantly roll that out for Magento, BigCommerce, Amazon, Etsy, and others with virtually no additional work!

Wrapping Up

In this article, we looked at what makes a Unified API work. We explained how the underlying infrastructure and technology works. In the next article, we'll get set up using Alloy Unified API.