April 28, 2014 -- Emeryville, CA. Innovative announced today that it has released the first set of REST APIs for its Sierra Library Services Platform. The APIs provide access to Sierra data and metadata, allowing libraries and commercial partners to seamlessly integrate applications that benefit library patrons and staff.
Built on a modern REST software architecture, this first set of APIs will enable libraries to use their Sierra data in numerous creative ways. Through these APIs, libraries can harvest data from bibliographic and item records in the Sierra catalog to power patron searches. While Innovative offers a seamless integration between Sierra and its discovery solution Encore, now third-party discovery applications such as the EBSCO Discovery Service and others can leverage the APIs in a similar way.
In addition, the APIs will enable libraries to feed the most current title information to their library website. For example, title data could be used to populate a "recently-added" titles list on a library website's homepage. Library staff will also be able to use the APIs to create custom reporting applications.
Innovative chose to build its APIs using REST architecture because it meets customers' needs for a modern, standards-based, and widely-adopted API protocol. Customers will benefit from the ease and flexibility that REST provides for API development, maintenance, and support.
Robust Beta Program
Over fourteen libraries and partners participated in Innovative's beta program and ten early adopter organizations have exchanged ideas with the Innovative team in recent months. Their high level of engagement and feedback has been crucial to Innovative in developing APIs that meet the requirements of customers.
"We conducted a robust beta testing process for the Sierra API in real-world scenarios and received fabulous feedback and input to refine it," says Product Manager for Sierra APIs, Steve Schoen. "We also shared our API documentation with early adopters in order to inform their development planning efforts and to gather feedback. Our primary goal is to enable our customers take full advantage of their investment in Sierra."
Says Jimmy Thomas, Executive Director of the Marmot Library Network: "As one of the first library systems to implement the complete set of OverDrive APIs, Marmot is delighted to now be working with Innovative as an early adopter of Sierra APIs. The first Sierra APIs seem very usable for a variety of discovery layers."
Thomas continues: "We expect that future Sierra APIs will support a seamless user experience through integrated catalog and circulation functions according to principles stated at ReadersFirst.org, which ensure that library users have open and easy access to e-content."
These APIS are the first in a series of APIs that Innovative will be releasing through 2014 and beyond. This first set of APIs will be available to all Sierra customers free of cost as part of a basic API package. Plans for future APIs include the ability to update the Sierra database and performing key circulation functions.
Innovative (www.iii.com) is dedicated to providing leading technology solutions and services that empower libraries and enrich their users worldwide. Innovative offers the broadest and most complete portfolio of library automation products on the market today. Innovative's flagship library services platform, Sierra, is the most rapidly adopted product in library automation history. The company's versatile and market-leading solutions also include the Polaris and Millennium Integrated Library Systems, the Encore discovery solution, the Decision Center collection management tool, the SkyRiver cataloging service, and INN-Reach resource sharing. Headquartered in Emeryville, California, Innovative serves thousands of libraries in over 50 countries and has offices around the world.