On top of all the goodies one may find in Zabbix, it also comes with an API that provides access to almost all functions available in Zabbix. Existence of a Zabbix API opens up a lot of opportunities for even greater efficiency in monitoring. Some of those are outlined below.
Easy two-way integration
Zabbix API allows an easy integration with any software, which is able to make or accept external calls. Integration with ticketing systems can be seen as one of the most frequent applications of Zabbix API. It will take just a few days to set up a two-way integration with popular issue-tracking systems such as JIRA, Bugzilla and others.
Third party software
It is also possible to use Zabbix API to integrate Zabbix functions into software developed by another party. This might be especially important when delivering custom based IT solutions.
When working in automated environments that are manipulated through configuration management systems such as Puppet, Chef, Salt or others, integrating Zabbix with such systems may save you plenty of time when adding, removing or upgrading hardware or software.
Another great use of Zabbix API is when you want to add hundreds or thousands of devices for monitoring applying very specific, custom rules that using the Zabbix web interface would not be possible.
Zabbix has plenty of information about an organization's environment stored in its database. And this information deserves to be re-used in other applications, e.g. statistical, security, inventory, to produce even greater benefit for organization. And this opens up even broader horizons of using Zabbix to collect information not only about availability and performance of an IT environment, but also about business metrics, KPI, location of inventory items, different sensors (e.g., humidity, temperature, motion, proximity) and many other bits of information that surround us in everyday operations.
Monitoring an IT environment is a 24x7 process, which requires constant attention regardless of whether responsible personnel is around, off on the weekend or even away on vacation. This is when mobile devices and smart phones are very handy, allowing access to mobile applications that support visualization, configuration, acknowledgement of events and many other functions from Zabbix.
Anyone can develop their own personal mobile application for managing Zabbix or make use of the applications already available.
Getting started with the API
It does not take long to test out how easy using Zabbix API is. An article on the Zabbix blog describes how to put the API into use with simple examples for authentication, getting a list of hosts (devices) and description of the data flow.