6 Useful Remote Collaboration APIs J Simpson October 27, 2021 The workplace has been increasingly decentralized and virtual, even before the pandemic began. There were already 164.9 million Americans working remotely in February 2020. And, according to Owl Labs’ annual State Of Remote Work survey, over 70% of American employees have been working from home. This means a drastic uptick in virtual meetings, emails, messaging platforms, scheduling software, and anything else you could need for remote collaboration. If there’s going to be one new normal that does emerge from the pandemic, it’s likely to be this — it’s going to be hard to stuff the remote work genie back in the bottle. We’ve all become so used to working from anywhere, at any time. Nowhere is this more pervasive than in tech, where decentralized, asynchronous tasks are the name of the game when it comes to prototyping and coding digital tools. Remote collaboration APIs are the links that bind our work ecosystems together. With so much work happening virtually, it’s never been more important to focus on our workflows to ensure our platforms are working together. Otherwise, things could get overlooked, or we might find ourselves stretched too thin. From messaging platforms to scheduling to bookmarking APIs, keep reading to find out some of the best remote collaboration APIs we’ve been able to find. 6 Remote Collaboration APIs Worth Checking Out Orbit API Community has become vitally important in every single aspect of business. It informs how we make buying decisions, who we hire and work with, how we sell and market products, and even ourselves. This makes community engagement vital to business success — some in obvious ways and some that are more subtle. The Orbit API is a Swiss Army Knife of assorted tools to help you and your team with remote collaboration. The Orbit API is the backend of a handful of community engagement and remote collaboration solutions. At its heart, Orbit is a workspace of the type that is becoming increasingly popular (like the celebrated Notion workspace and API. You can manage everything from team messaging to scheduling assignments via Orbit. It also offers detailed data sharing and permissions allocation, which is always a struggle in remote workplaces. One of Orbit’s strongest selling points is the ability to add users and customers via multiple channels. It supports Twitter and GitHub handles as well as email addresses, which is a simple but useful feature, especially for sales and marketing. The Orbit API’s use for sales and marketing may be its strongest selling point, but its uses for remote collaboration are also noteworthy. It’s nice to have all of these tools in one toolbox, so if you’ve been looking for a lead generation and cultivation portal as well as tools for remote collaboration, give Orbit a look. Syncplicity API A distributed workplace opens up several powerful possibilities, but it does have its challenges. Things that we used to take for granted due to being in the same space simultaneously need to be examined and re-negotiated for this new paradigm. The Syncplicity API is another excellent all-in-one digital collaboration tool designed specifically for today’s decentralized world. Ostensibly a content management system, Syncplicity’s greatest strength is its ability to share data across your entire workforce in any way you can imagine. This is one of the challenges of not having a central server or no longer going into the office. The ability to easily share assets is a major boon. The ability to easily customize data access makes it doubly so. The Syncplicity API is also worth a look for developers looking to create tools offering this functionality. It lets you use their system for rights management alongside the ability to easily create, add, and manage users and workgroups. The fact that the Syncplicity API can be customized in nearly any way that you can imagine, combined with the fact that they offer a free tier, makes Syncplicity worth a look for anyone looking for an all-purpose digital collaboration API. Taskworld API Workspace apps are especially integral for project management, where tools like kanban boards such as Trello have been the norm for some time. This is both a blessing and a curse. It’s a blessing as workspace apps are incredibly useful for organizing remote teams. Their popularity means that developers have their pick of powerful, versatile tools for messaging, assigning tasks, and monitoring. This is also the curse of the proliferation of project management APIs, as you might have to wade through a few before you find the perfect fit for your workflow. The Taskworld API is another all-purpose remote collaboration tool that emphasizes project management. It’s the backend for Taskworld’s workspace app, which handles everything from granting file permissions to native messaging. This means that Taskworld handles common project management functions, like assigning tasks, particularly well. The ability to break tasks down into sub-tasks or have one task in multiple locations is particularly useful. Unfortunately, Taskworld doesn’t have a free tier, but it’s relatively affordable for what they offer. They also offer a free trial, so you can try it out for yourself to see if it’s a good fit. Ditto API No longer having digital offices, physical servers, or in-person teams brings about some unforeseen challenges. Especially if you happen to be working with large-scale projects like managing an entire catalog remotely. Having to manually enter hundreds if not thousands of product information even once quickly teaches you to not leave anything to chance or take anything for granted if you’re serious about remote collaboration. The Ditto API is an API specifically for copywriters. Its main selling point is the ability to easily integrate with product development environments like Figma. Ditto also handles a number of tasks specific to copywriting in ingenious ways, like breaking down copywriting text into components — particularly useful for copywriters, especially those working on large projects. Ditto also offers an SDK and CLI. Ditto offers a free tier that supports up to two teammates and unlimited projects, meaning you can try it out in your stack and see how it works for you and your team. Copywriters, project managers, and product developers — take note. Miro API The linear nature of flowcharts or the hierarchical aspect of taxonomic file structures isn’t always the best. Sometimes, you need to think more freely, getting outside of the box to explore creative solutions. In physical meetings, this would be an ideal time to pull out the whiteboard. This is more problematic in digital workspaces. That’s why it’s a good idea to have some sort of digital whiteboard solution as part of your remote collaboration tools. The Miro API is one of the best digital whiteboard APIs available. But it’s more than just a virtual whiteboard — it’s a full-on visual collaboration and rapid prototyping tool. Like several of the other APIs we’ve mentioned so far, Miro also offers a full dashboard and workspace via the Miro app. The app also features several useful templates for remote collaboration, from flowcharts to mind maps to kanban boards. There are also templates for wireframing apps and detailed timelines, fitting the needs of product developers and project managers. The Miro API lets you manage your Miro assets from virtually anywhere. It also makes it so that data from your Miro assets can be shared instantaneously with anything that can consume an API. Raindrop API Honestly, resources like Raindrop should have been mainstream long before the pandemic for virtually anybody who deals with a lot of information from many different sources. Having a good bookmark manager in place is a game-changer. The Raindrop API is more than just a bookmark manager, though. Raindrop pairs bookmark management with a web clipper, letting you easily save, store, and — most importantly of all — find research from virtually any digital source. You’d be surprised how effective something as simple as the ability to group research together by theme can be. Raindrop even offers the ability to search the full text of anything you’ve clipped. The other thing that separates Raindrop from several other excellent bookmarking APIs available is the ability to take and share notes. This makes Raindrop suitable as a hub for knowledge-related projects, from brainstorming to research to creation. Remote Collaboration APIs: Final Thoughts Even as things open back up and life begins to shift back to the way things were before the pandemic, some things will never be the same. Over the past nearly two years, many folks have gotten a taste of the true potential of remote work and digital collaboration. For anyone working with tech in any regard, we’ve been swimming in these waters for a while. This just means there are more excellent tools at our disposal, and our employers and clients will be more accustomed to how they operate. Regardless of what happens in the next year, virtual meetings and decentralized workforces are here to stay. Remote work, hybrid workplaces, and digital collaboration will be the new normal, requiring tools and APIs to fit this new paradigm.