NXT API “The ecosystem of good.” A better way for integration realities.

REST APIs can be loosely considered as the glue that can link applications and is a well established standard. They are geared towards developers that might not have years of experience with a particular product so they can begin to develop integrations and applications quickly.

Build the on-demand future. Uber is an example of a company that extensively uses APIs to broaden out their offerings, for example, if you use the United Airlines app, it will have an Uber option so that when you get out of the airport you can Uber a ride. This is conceptually how Blackbaud is looking to extend development and integration to 3rd party developers and those organizations with expertise. Blackbaud Partner Marketplace is a key partner to this strategy.

Blackbaud SKY API

Some examples of use of the API. Example – bringing in volunteer information directly into NXT from 3rd party volunteer management software. Bringing in information directly from student information system. Ticketing and other examples of how the API will provide a richer experience.

Presentation of the Blackbaud SKY API Developer Interface

https://developer.nxt.blackbaud-dev.com (Blackbaud developer portal.)

Presenter then highlighted some of the features within the portal, highlighting the standards based approach to developing the applications that will work with Raiser’s Edge NXT and Financial Edge NXT. One would think that the company’s strategy would be to deploy this even more broadly to their other products.

It seems like a comprehensive approach. You will be able to get statistics on API usage such as how many times has it been called, where it has been called from. Change logs are broadcast out to developers.

Blackbaud SKY UX will be in beta and released to a set of partners in November 2015 which will allow developers to bring in look and feel aspects so developer products will be consistent with Blackbaud’s libraries and styling.

Timing

Constituent will be first released, then gift and others to follow.

Examples. Capture a facebook interaction and create an action in NXT based on what happened in facebook. Bring in LinkedIn data to NXT and show NXT and LinkedIn records showing side by side. A Chrome extension then pops up so you can see the social activity. Another company, PaperSave built an integration so that attachments can be added and associated with constituents and appear on the constituent record. This makes it easier to implement a 3rd party document management system directly into NXT.

In 2016, you’ll be able to manage connected apps in the NXT control panel. Code will provided on GitHub.

There’s quite a bit more on this, best way to look at in-depth is to register as a developer and start to work with it.

“Team still has a lot of work to do and it is still in tech preview as opposed to Beta.” It appears that the roadmap for this API is looking about 1-2 years out for a more complete API.

Mention of OData but “no commitment to this yet.”

Wrap up.

Learn more about the API – it has the potential to dramatically increase your flexibility in what you get in and out of the system – it’s a key strategic direction for Blackbaud.