Shane Flynn of Visible School just put the College Calendar up on their website using Populi's API (Application-Program Interface). It's a smart way to distribute some pretty important info to the folks who need to know about it.
In past years—that is, pre-Populi—important, college-wide events (Add-Drop Dates, Orientation, Student and Staff Hang Out Time, and so on) had to be entered on the Visible’s shared calendar, and then again on the college website. Shane told us, “Updating the calendar on the website has always been one of the things I dreaded every year. [It was] just a tedious job with a lot of room for error.”
This go-round, Shane had something new to work with. Visible was already using the Populi Calendar's standard School Calendar; to get it on the website, he spent a few hours with the API one afternoon—and it was up. The time he spent working with the API was a good investment, because future term calendars will automatically display as events are created. “Now when the academic office enters dates into the school calendar, the changes are automatically reflected on the website,” Shane said. “It’s a beautiful thing.”
The API is good for work-a-day applications like Visible's—they’d next like to put their course catalog online. It also lends itself to advanced data queries, integration with other software packages, and some flashier projects. We used it for Populi's iPhone app, for instance.
We're looking forward to seeing what else our customers think up for it. If you’d like to start working with it, just contact us and we’ll get you the documentation. Down the line, we’re planning some API discussion forums and help content—not to mention further enhancements to the API itself so it keeps pace with the new features we’re gonna be adding to Populi.