SYRACUSE, N.Y., November 30, 2011 - The window to register and earn your chance to win $5,000 in the Polaris Great App Challenge is closing quickly! Polaris Library Systems, a pioneer in the development of library technology solutions for public, private and academic libraries, announced the Great App Challenge earlier this month; a contest that gives Polaris customers, employees and local college students the opportunity to design and build a mobile application using the Polaris application programming interface (API). The individual or team that builds the best application, as judged by Polaris Library Systems, will win $5,000!
This competition is intended to incent talented software developers from regional colleges and universities, as well as startup entrepreneurs and existing Polaris customers, to create a dynamic new mobile application based on the Polaris API.
The Polaris API is a web-based service comprised of a set of universal resource identifiers (URIs) which return data from the Polaris application database. This interface provides controlled access to Polaris software so that customers, third party vendors – and now students -- may build their own Polaris-integrated applications for the web or for desktop and mobile devices. One individual or team judged to have the best application ready for deployment will win $5,000. If a winner is sponsored by another organization, that organization will be awarded an additional $1,000.
For example, one Polaris customer, Yellowhead Regional Library, in conjunction with a third-party developer, Hybrid Forge, used the Polaris API to build an iPad application called YourLibrary, which is now available on the Apple store. The free app enables staff and patrons to search and place a hold in the library's catalog from an iPad, as well as find similar titles provided by NoveList Select. The library, located in Alberta, Canada, is part of The Regional Automation Consortium (TRAC) which also released an iPhone app, TRACpac, to the iTunes store this year.
"When we give people the tools to customize our technology and a license to be as creative as they want, we get really innovative, useful ideas as a result," said Bill Schickling, president and CEO, Polaris Library Systems. "The best thing about this Challenge is that we will have students competing who may not know a thing about the library software business, and that kind of fresh thinking is bound to generate some incredible applications that none of us may have ever thought possible."
The competition will extend through February 20, 2012, and the winner will be announced at a major venture development conference scheduled for late March at The Tech Garden. Participants are asked to submit a completed registration form available at http://developer.polarislibrary.com/appchallenge.
About Polaris Library Systems
Polaris Library Systems' mission is to help libraries better serve their communities. Through its work with almost 2,000 libraries across the U.S. and Canada, Polaris has come to understand the challenges and opportunities that librarians and their patrons face. The company designs products and services to help public, private and academic libraries surmount these challenges and lead productive, bright futures. For more information about Polaris Library Systems, visit www.polarislibrary.com.