Did you Know #DYK: What is an API?

What is an API

What is an API?

What exactly is an API? You make mention of this at a dinner party and you are likely to hear a pin drop! This is strongly contrasted in tech circles and management meetings where APIs are valuable and possess a positive impact for businesses. So, what is the real definition of an API?

An API stands for Application Programming Interface.

An API is a software intermediary that allows two applications to talk to each other. Think of the API as a messenger that delivers your request to the provider that you’re requesting it from. Then it delivers the reply back to you. What is important about this process is that the API defines functionalities that are independent of their respective implementations. This allows those implementations and definitions to vary without compromising each other.

Wow, technical overload! So for those of us who are computer scientists or programmers, what on earth does that mouthful mean?

Here is an API Illustration most of us can relate to:

API Call Back from RequestConsider your mobile phone, each of us have the ability to make a phone call request irrespective of the kind of phone we own. When we make a call request we get a response from our service provider that connects us to our friend. Your phone model doesn’t really matter. The phone we use is related to what we need the device to do in correlation to our tasks.

In our example, the phone we use has the screen layouts we prefer based on our business needs. On a website this means we can change the “look” or how the numbers display on our phones. However, we are accessing the same information or performing the same task – making a call.  All without affecting how another persons phone works.

It does present an interesting business choice, do you buy an existing phone model off of the shelf? Or design your own because of a unique business need such as integration with a company CRM or Sales database?

API Big Value for Business

An API presents long term benefits for companies. Specifically those who need to track end to end processes under one software solution.

At Leads 2 Business we offer an API service. Allowing your business to design their own interface to access our Project and Tender information. Get your tech team to contact us and we can connect you. We also offer our off the shelf service. It has our interface that we have designed as part of our normal subscription.

API Information dressed for your business.

To illustrate the concept of an API a little further we would like you to meet Data-Bob. He represents the data that we as a company provide to your organisation through our API. Your development team then designs the interface so that it fits with your corporate requirements.

What is an API?

API can be customised to your business

API Off the shelf Alternative

If you are still feeling lost as to the practical implementation of an API? Here’s real world example:

API Air line

The next time you book a flight you will have “front row seats” to interacting with an API! Whether you search from the airlines website or an online travel service that collates the information from multiple airlines, you will need access the airline’s database to see if there are any seats available, what the subsequent cost might be based on the date, flight time and popularity of your destination.

To obtain the information you need to book your flight, the application has to interact with the airline’s API. Then in turn takes the airline’s response to your request and delivers right back to the travel application you’re using. Through each step, it is aided by the interaction between the application and the airline’s API. Enabling you to perform everything from seat selection, to payment and booking.

How is API information delivered?

When you connect to our API, you will need a username and password. The data is delivered in an XML format. XML is a marked up version of plain text that is easy to access by computers. A comparison can be drawn between information that is obtained in comma separated value or .csv files. When you open the file it appears as a long string of values, however when you import it into excel, the values neatly populate columns and rows depending on the comma sequencing. A similar function occurs when an XML file is pulled. The mark up tags in the file allow your development team to populate the various rows or columns of information within your CRM package, creating a seamlessly integrated solution for your company. It’s an exciting approach and it offers streamlined processes and optimal efficiency for companies.


Where to from here?

I hope that this has assisted your understanding of what an API is, as well as how it can work for your business.
If you require any further information, please feel most welcome to contact us on 033-3431130 or email our IT team on Support@L2B.co.za



About Taryn Duckham

I am a lover of marketing, customer centricity and the art of influence. Being able to effect this through analysis, content and front end design is part of my work, my great love of creatively solving problems that reach across as many parts of Leads 2 Business as I can.

L2B Blog: The ins and outs of Town Planning

My definition: “A creative artist with the city as their canvas.”

A town planner is professional who deals closely with architects, designers, landscape architects and engineers in order to create, manage, define and renew our cities. They work to plan human settlements and come up with long term plans for cities and regional areas, to try and reduce congestion and alleviate transport congestion and one of the ways of doing this is planning for public transport.

A town planner needs to have an understanding of population trends and the demands of the community. They are able to handle the influx of people and their needs. They encourage growth and change and enrich the lives of everyone. To be a good town planner you would need to have a vision of how you would like the city to look and feel. You need to be a good listener and understand how the community feel about their city, sometimes they may have ideas that are more valid or even better. You also need to have patience and understand that some of the plans you are working on may take 10 sometimes 20 years to eventuate. Other skills needed would be problem solving, negotiation, communication, management, team work and flexibility.



They plan to make full use of space in such a way not to be wasteful and to be mindful of the environment and old historic buildings that are of architetrual importance. There are also rules and regulations that need to followed as well as a municipal budget.

Not only do they plan new exciting buildings, bridges and roads, but they also plan extensions and alterations of the existing areas.
Town planning seems to be very stressful, but also very rewarding.

If you want to make a real difference and have a keen interest in geography and the city, then this might be for you. You could make an impact on the world and the city you live in.

To me, the fun part would be using the tools and technology to do the designing, planning and layout of the city. I mean I love drawing. Town planning isn’t just drawing images of buildings all day. There is a lot of hard work before putting pen to paper.


According to GK Hiraskar the 3 main planning principals with regards to town planning are health, convenience and beauty.

  • Health – Creating and promoting a healthy living environment for the poor and the rich to work, relax or live in. Land can be subdivided and zoned for various uses. Live – work – play seems to be the trend for 2018 and the future. Another big thing in health is walkability.
  • Convenience – Meeting the needs of the community. Social, cultural, economic and public utilities would be needed to fulfill these needs. Again live work play.
  • Beauty – The attractiveness of the city. Making the city look appealing, meeting demands and keeping up with trends. Going green.


Steps in the Town Planning process

1. Identifying the issues that need to be addressed

2. Stating the goals and how to achieve them.

3. Data collection. Market research could be done by gathering data from the environment and economic studies as well as surveys and interest groups.

4. Plan preparation. Look at and review the possible site plans that have been submitted. Look at the feasibility of these proposals and see if there are any changes needed to be made. A recommendation would then need to be submitted on whether this should be denied or approved.

5. Community. Liaise with and present the plan to public officials, professionals and the community for review and comment (only once approved). This is done in newspapers, online, websites, social media and newsletters.

6. Evaluation alternatives. What impact does the proposal have on the city, town and community? Assessments and investigations are needed to be done. Impacting factors could be living conditions, traffic, the built environment and nature itself. The comment received by the community would need to be processed and addressed. Decisions on the way forward would need to be made with possible alternatives discussed.

7. Adopt and implement the plan.

Basically a town planner must be able to foresee, predict, address and interpret the changes and transformation that took place and successfully accommodate changes in order to carry out the plan


Duties of a Town Planner
Drafts and plans the departmental budget
Represents the town
Attends, staffs and plans board meetings
Prepares notices and documents
Takes minutes
Provides technical assistance
Establishes guidelines and plans
Liaising with public officials, professionals and the public
Formulate and plan the city layout, street design and green spaces


I myself am not a Town Planner but I do follow the progress of building and construction related projects. I deal closely with the client, EIA consultant and Town Planner on early conceptual projects when it’s just an idea. It’s always do amazing to be able to watch the development unfold and the plan comes to life and molds our city.


I am currently researching and following the 30 new planned Mega Cities for Gauteng. Curenntly the Montrose Mega City is available on Leads 2 Business. This is a huge mixed use Mega city which includes residential, offices, public transport facility, a private and regional hospital, schools, a government complex and industrial and warehousing facilites. I can only imagine the hard work and planning that went into these mega cities and am lucky enough to be tracking the progress of these.





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About Michelle Hosford

I started my journey at Leads 2 Business in the Directory Department in 2012. I was then promoted to the Private Projects department in 2014 and have been working as the Regional Gauteng content researcher ever since.

Industry Events: MTE Cullinan

MTE Cullinan

MTE Cullinan


MTE Cullinan



25 January 2018 at 13:00 – 17:00


Event location:

Cullinan Community Sport Centre


Event Description:

Cullinan mine has an expected life span of about 50 years and contains a world-class diamond resource of194 metric carats (Mcts). The mine has undertaken an expansion programme that is expected to increase annual production from 0.7Mcts in 2016 to 2.2Mcts in 2019.

Exhibitors we would like to see include companies that supply equipment or products to the diamond mines
or that supply equipment or products that can be used in the diamond mining process. Cullinan is a diamond
mining area so, if you’re involved in that business, then this is the expo for you.


Contact Person:

Andrew Macnamara

E-mail: andrew@interactmedia.co.za

Tel: +27(0)82 720 0083

Event Website:

MTE Cullinan



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To view notes with screenshots on how to use our website, please visit our Wiki site.

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About Eldary Carpenter

I have been with Leads 2 Business for 5 years and absolutely love working for such a dynamic company. I started off as a Content Researcher in the Tenders Department before being promoted to Customer Relations.

Did you know #DYK: RFQ? Pricing? Drawings…. What?


Picture this scenario… the phone rings…
a rather flustered voice comes through the phone..
Michelle!!! what’s this RFQ thingy…?
Who sent me this?
What must I price on?
Where can I find the Drawings…?
…. Specifications…? huh!?



These are just some of the questions I am asked on a daily basis. So let’s start from the beginning and break them down.

Leads 2 Business has an online pricing system, Leads 2 Quotes (L2Q), that is designed for Main Contractors to send out Request for quotes (RFQ’s) to suppliers and subcontractors (Vendors).

So you might be asking how is this going to bring in new business to my company? Once you receive an RFQ, you can download the drawings and specification from the Vendor home-page or RFQ mail. This will enable you to add your own terms and conditions, attachments and any important information the Contractor would need. The RFQ can be priced online and in return increases your rating on L2Q which will work in your favour when Contractors are sending out new RFQ’s as your company will be ranked higher.


We provide you with the Contractors details, so if you have any of those important questions about a specific section in the bill you will already have all the tools you need to get into contact with the right people.


If you are not subscribed to any of L2B’s services we have amazing staff that would be more than willing to assist you. Alternatively, you can subscribe to Open Quotes for a minimal amount, this will give you access to new opportunity’s to price to Contractors without them requesting you to price.

Now that’s what I call being proactive!

With a fresh approach to pricing and retrieving what you need to price efficiently and on time. Are you as excited? I am!


Let’s sum it up:

  • RFQ’s are sent via L2Q directly to Preferred Vendors.
  • Documentation and Specifications or any additional information that you might need regarding the RFQ can be found either on the L2Q website or by contacting the Contractor directly.
  • You can add your terms and conditions to your RFQ.
  • The more you price online, the higher your rating on L2Q.
  • New Open Quotes feature enables you to forward your pricing to other Buyers without them even asking you for a price.


Happy Pricing Everybody!!!!!


Image Sources:

Question Mark #1

Question Mark #2

Thumbs Up




About Michelle Engelbrecht

: I started working at Leads 2 Business in February 2014 till now, I'm an L2Q Account Executive and deal with Main Contractors. Leads 2 Quotes is my main focus and the growth of the sales in L2Q.

Featured Project: Illovo 96 – Building

Description: Construction of the new 5 100m² office development to be located on 15 Chaplin Road, Illovo, Sandton, Gauteng. Scope of works includes the construction of a 6 level office building with 2 floors of basement parking. 

Status: Tender

Industry: Office & Commercial

Region: Sandton

Sector: Private

Value: Unknown At This Stage 

Timing: 2018 Onwards

If you are a valued Projects subscriber, you can find more details click here

About Michelle Hosford

I started my journey at Leads 2 Business in the Directory Department in 2012. I was then promoted to the Private Projects department in 2014 and have been working as the Regional Gauteng content researcher ever since.

L2B Blog: Types of Tenders that require Consultants

Consultant Tenders: Leads 2 Business

Tender Types that require Consultants

What do Consulting Companies do?


According to Wikipedia, a Consulting Firm is “A business of one or more experts (Consultants) that provides professional advice to an individual or an organisation for a fee. The primary purpose of a Consulting Firm is to provide access to industry – specific Specialist / Consultants and subject matter experts”.


There are many reasons why businesses appoint Consultants to solve an issue within the Company. Whether it’s because the company wants an unbiased opinion or because it doesn’t have the resources to address the issue internally. Consultants offer a way to problem-solving without costing a fortune.


The services provided by Consulting Engineers and other Professional Service providers involve a myriad of services in a range of disciplines and fields. These include, amongst others:


  • Civil Engineering Services: Civil Engineering is a Professional Engineering discipline that deals with the Design, Construction and Maintenance of the physical and naturally built environment, including works like Roads, Bridges, Canals, Dams and Buildings. Civil Engineering takes place in the public sector from municipal through national governments, and in the private sector from individual homeowners through to international companies.
  • Project Manager: Project Management is the application of Knowledge, Skills, Tools and Techniques to project activities to meet the project requirements.

Project Management processes fall into five groups:

  1. Initiating
  2. Planning
  3. Executing
  4. Monitoring and Controlling
  5. Closing
Project Management knowledge draws on ten areas:
  1. Integration
  2. Scope
  3. Time
  4. Cost
  5. Quality
  6. Procurement
  7. Human Resources
  8. Communications
  9. Risk Management
  10. Stake Management


  • Electrical Engineering: Electrical Engineering is a field of engineering that generally deals with the study of the application of Electricity, Electronics and Electromagnetism.
  • Geotechnical Engineering: The word “Geotechnical” refers to the geological components of the earth, like the earth and soil and also groundwater. Geotechnical Engineers evaluate the soil and other components of the earth to determine whether a particular project site is a good one for a given project and work with the lay of the land for the best results.
  • Mechanical Engineering: Mechanical Engineering is the branch of an emergency dealing with the Design, Construction and use of systems and machines.
  • Structural Engineering: Structural Engineering is a speciality within Civil Engineering. Structural Engineers create Drawings and Specifications, perform calculations, review the work of other engineers, write reports and evaluations, and observe construction sites.
  • Architectural Engineers: The building industry is made up of several professional groups: Developers, Architects, Engineers and Construction Teams. Architectural Engineers specialize in the technical aspects of architecture, including the structural integrity and resilience of buildings and the comfort and health of those who occupy buildings.

Please see DTA 651061: Multi-Disciplinary Tender Notice as an example for various Consultants needed.

Which Organisations look for Consulting Tenders?

Consulting Tenders will attract Consulting Organisations searching for Consulting Work. E.g. A Development of Municipal Offices – Architect / Quantity Surveyor / Consulting Engineer.


According to Michael Kromhout from D W P Civil & Structural Engineers, the Consulting Tenders that they look for are: “Any tenders relating to the Plan, Design and Management of Civil / Structural Projects; including Turnkey Projects”

It’s typical Civil / Structural Projects: Municipal Services (Roads, Sewer, Water), Bulk Services (Reservoirs, Pipelines, Water Treatment Plants, Pump Stations), Buildings, Structural Steel etc


To conclude this Blog, Consultancy is a specialised field required for a particular industry/field.






Michael Kromhout – D W P Civil & Structural Engineers

About Lungile Buthelezi

I started working at Leads 2 Business in May 2014 as a Content Researcher in the Daily Tenders South Africa Department. I oversee Eastern Cape and Limpopo Regions.

L2B Blog: CSIR: Who are they and what role do they play in South Africa?

CSIR – Who are they and what role do they play in South Africa?

I was asked to write a blog on the CSIR… Wow – write my own blog? Marvellous, wonderful, yes, indeed!

Then cold reality sets in… Who is CSIR and What on earth do they do…?

I considered the possibility of an underground arm of ‘Crime Scene Investigation’ and with the strains of CSI Miami music playing in the back of my mind (dooooo-waaya, du du du du…) I set off to ask my dear friend, Google.

As reliable as ever, Google responds The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR).

  The name itself immediately brings to mind a classroom, full of beakers, Bunsen burners and goggle-eyed students huddled over strange, bubbling liquid concoctions…

maybe I wasn’t so far off, after all!


Further investigation reveals the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) was founded in 1945 and is SA’s central and premier scientific research and development organisation based in Pretoria.
Made up of some of the best minds in our country, they work together to translate their research and knowledge into ideas that will help South Africa grow.


  Amongst hundreds of projects that the CSIR has contributed to, one that particularly stood out to me was the development of an affordable and durable prosthetic paediatric knee, developed as a cheaper option for kids that are amputees.


There are options available for adults, but ended up being very costly and not practical for children – this new prototype is durable and cheaper and due to a motion detector in the device can allow the doctors to even monitor the general health and improvement of the amputees.


The genius in this device is that it can measure the pressure inside the socket and prevents sores forming as well as possible further amputation as a result.

A brilliant contribution, but what does this have to do with CONSTRUCTION…?

Well, the CSIR has several divisions within their Building Science and Technology division, namely;


Architectural engineering
Here they contribute to better social infrastructure, health and education facilities in South Africa.
Science and engineering methodologies are applied to tackle social infrastructure research questions and develop evidence-based solutions that inform current policy and practice. Solutions are established to support government’s development objectives and to the benefit of industry and civil society


Construction industry and innovation
They also undertake research, development and implementation of innovative building technologies that aim at transforming the way we construct buildings. Using principles of green building and sustainability to add to the way we design, construct, operate and maintain buildings. Leading to faster construction cycles, a lower life-cycle cost of buildings, improved product quality and worker safety.
They also explore the use of innovative materials such as green bricks, structural insulated panels, light steel frame and natural fibre composites.


Construction materials
Aimed at addressing the problem of slow and costly delivery of housing in South Africa, reducing the high energy and carbon footprint of building materials in a sustainable way, they promote the use of natural fibers for reinforcement, rather than steel, this increases sustainability, creates jobs downstream, promoting agricultural production and resulting in the production of greener building materials.
The group also looks at developing materials for use in industrialized or advanced construction that uses panels or modules made from cheaper and smarter materials to reduce building delivery lead times.

Sounds like an all-around winner to me – no nerdy geeks, just smart people and smarter choices!

In closing, I think the CSIR’s slogan – our future through science – shows that by investing, exploring and ongoing research, they can help shape South Africa’s future and deal with the complex problems facing us today – so it’s not all doom and gloom in the amazing country we call home. These great minds are at work to continually make improvements in our beautiful South Africa.



https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Scientists_examine_tissue_culture_flask.jpg (Image 1)

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:WorkNC-Knee_prosthesis.jpg (Image 2)



Telephonic discussion – Nox Moyake

About Candice Erasmus

I have been working at Leads 2 Business for almost 7 years of which 5 have been as the sales manager. I enjoy every aspect of my job and strive to hold the L2B flag high in all I do.

L2B Blog: Why airconditioning can increase productivity

Productivity depends on several factors. The office temperature being one of many

The air quality and room temperature of an office can profoundly affect the health, comfort and productivity of the occupants


When I started off writing this blog, in the early ‘Research & Data Gathering’ phase, I viewed the argument on aircon productivity as hot vs cool – translated as ‘no aircon/hot’ vs ‘with aircon/cool’.

But then, that wonderful ‘ka-ching’ light bulb clicked on, sparking a braincell into an intelligent thought – and the obvious dawned on me. Both sides, hot temp and cool temp equals productivity. It is not the one vs the other, but rather the 2 temps working together, balancing one another, to reach any Boss-Man’s desired fate, in creating a productive environment – a function that only an air-conditioning system can provide.


The obvious: Don’t forget, an aircon swings both ways – temperature wise of course. ‘Ka-ching’ light bulb

And here we have it [further down]. Studies supporting both temperatures. Highlighting how and why air-conditioning increases productivity.

We cannot control and manipulate the weather into our favour to increase productivity. This is why we have aircons, right?
# The Top Secret purpose of air-conditioning in the work environment.


The reality of the large impact aircons have on productivity is crystal clear, with no air to spare for denial 😉 wink wink

With the control and balancing of office temp, we create a happy and healthy environment, allowing productivity to boom and to ensure that productivity remains at optimal levels



Air-conditioning is a process that alters the properties of air to more favourable conditions.

That in itself says it all. Altering the properties of air to more favourable conditions. Favourable being the key word, a positive word, and positive sounds productive, does it not?

‘Interpretation: “Air-conditioning is a process that alters the properties of air to more Productive conditions” 

With that said, it’s all about context, and context coupled with common sense will steer you in the right temperature!

My Air-con Philosophy: No sweat equals LESS Stress ladies and gents


SUMMURY: Part 1 – In Summer:

Yes please, Mr Aircon Buddy – do grace us with your Fresh Breath of Cool Air.

Make a hot office, bearable, cool the irritable into productive moods


But BEWARE of Igloo Temperatures!

Let’s not fall prey to illness, which then leads to grumpy moods and absenteeism, decreasing productivity, faster than the rand falls!

SUMMARY: Part 2 – In Winter:
I’m sure, more so than none, will happily invite the cozy aura of an aircon, rather than chattering teeth in an office sized fridge!
The air-con will warm our cheeks to a rosy pink, and switch our body temperature to ninja working mode! HELLO PRODUCTIVITY


PS. Be sure to take note of the flip side! Too hot will cause laziness as well as sleepiness! It’s a science, you know

Closing Statement: Air-conditioning helps us to control and balance the office temperatures – creating a happy and healthy environment, allowing productivity to boom, and to ensure that productivity remains at an optimal level.

Conclusion: Air-Conditioning is an Investment, not an expense!


Survey & Study results:

Velux.com states that an office with good indoor air quality improves productivity by 10%. A number of scientific studies indicate that elevated temperatures and poor air quality can negatively affect work performance. [Pawel Wargocki and David P. Wyon : Indoor Climate Scientist –  Technical University of Denmark]

In a 2004 study, Corner University psychological scientist – Alan Hedge, determined that workers are more efficient when they’re warm.
As per APS.org, cold offices link to lower productivity. While blasting the aircon, running up those energy bills, you are also running up the cost of lost worker productivity [colds and absenteeism from work]

A NASA Study concluded that an office temp that is too high (too hot) decreases productivity, with 18% loss in work done, and 40% loss in accuracy

In a Study conducted by Cornell University, it was found that an office that is too cold, increases work errors by 44%, which in turn increases the labour cost by 10%





Cold offices linked to lower productivity

Why air condition the research


Sleepy emoji


Snowing Cloud


About Jackie Van Zyl

My epic journey at Leads 2 Business started September 2008, as a Researcher / Data Capturer in the Tenders Africa Department. I joined Customer Relations in 2011, where I have had the great pleasure of being part of the Dynamic L2B Admin Department [From 2011 to present]. I deal with the Registration and Administration details of New Account Activations, and Existing Account Upgrades, etc. I also assist with client & staff queries. I’m a ‘think-out-of-the-box’ individual and an excellent problem solver. I am hardworking, meticulous, efficient, friendly and always happy to help! I look forward in assisting you with any queries you might have

Featured Project: Lusaka Development, Zambia – Shopping Mall

Description: Construction of a shopping mall with over sixty shops adjacent to the National Heroes Stadium in Lusaka, Zambia.

Status: Conceptual

Industry: Building

Region: Zambia

Sector: Public Private Partnership

Value: Unknown At This Stage

Timing: 2017 onwards.

Notes: Please see DTA 637267, Contract number: MYSCD.NHS/PSU/W/01/2017 – Ministry of Youth, Sport and Child Development, Tender Reference: Technical and financial proposals for construction of a shopping mall, hotel, playing field, for all relevant tender document details pertaining to this Project Lead. There is no compulsory briefing session listed and the closing date is 20 June 2017 at 10:30 (Local Time). Please click on the “View the # lead related to this Project” to view the linked DTA.

If you are a valued Projects subscriber, you can find more details click here

About Melanie Miles

One girl who would rather wear boots than high heels...

Featured Project: Rutenga to Beitbridge Road, Zimbabwe

posted in: Uncategorized 0

Description: Construction of Harare – Masvingo – Beitbridge road dualisation in Zimbabwe. Section 4: Rutenga to Beitbridge road – 135 kilometres.

Status: Underway

Industry: Infrastructure

Region: Zimbabwe

Sector: Public

Value: R 100 million+

Timing: May 2017 – May 2019

Notes: The groundbreaking ceremony will be held on 18 May 2017 signalling the start of construction of the proposed works. Contract period is expected to be three years.

If you are a valued Projects subscriber, you can find more details click here

About Melanie Miles

One girl who would rather wear boots than high heels...

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