Some Engage contracts include access to Engage's Application Programming Interface (API). A campus can leverage the API to pull data from Engage and integrate with other systems on campus. API is one of several Data Services options that Engage offers.
APIs are instructions that tell software developers how to program against a web application without needing to know the intricacies (design, technology, methods) of how that application was made. APIs make it possible for users to simultaneously use multiple web applications transparently within the experience of a single application.
For example, when you use a Maps App on your phone to find a coffee shop near you you are using the user interface of the Maps App, but its likely that the app is connecting to at least two, if not more, other applications in order to find your current location, search for coffee shops near that location, grab the images to display the map on the screen, and plotting the exact location of the coffee shops on the map. Each of these data elements may live in different web applications, APIs allow the maker of the Maps App to mix them all together into a singular experience.
APIs allow web applications to focus on the data that they are uniquely designed to collect and manage and then offer their data to developers to mix and re-mix with data from other web applications that have expertise in a different data set.
All APIs contain endpoints, which are a general descriptor of the data object that is available to interact with. One of the most popular endpoints in the Engage member API is /events which contains data about organization events.
Each endpoint may have multiple Methods that can be used to interact with the data the endpoint contains. Methods have short names that describe what they do; GET, POST, PUT, and DELETE are the most common. These short names are common across most APIs in the world and are well understood by software developers.
We limit some of the data and interactions that are available via the member API by design to ensure system performance and security. All available endpoints are accessible to a "GET" call (will share data related to the endpoint) but only some endpoints will allow POST, PUT, and/or DELETE calls. You can access additional details about all available endpoints by reviewing your campus' API documentation.
Most APIs, including the Engage member API, require credentials from campus applications in order to release data or respond at all.
Engage uses a standard method for securing calls to and data from the member API which requires each API user to create a set of credentials that are similar to a username and password called keys. Each set of keys can be configured with a custom mixture of endpoint and method access, which means that a campus application could have multiple keys setup for different reasons.
If API is included in your contract, you can access detailed documentation by logging to your institution's Engage site and appending /api/docs to the end of the site's base URL.
A link to the documentation can also be found by All Access admins on the Data Sharing page in the Admin area of the application.
Note: API keys can only be generated by Campus Labs staff. Contact support for more information. All versions of the API license prohibit providing or sharing access to the API with 3rd-party vendors.
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