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November 23, 2009

The University API

At the CETIS conference this month I facilitated a session on the "University API", which was an opportunity to discuss what kinds of services institutions could offer for public access to developers, rather like BBC Backstage.

We had a pretty broad group of people, including Alex Bilbie from Lincoln, who was doing all kinds of fun things with iCal, RSS and mashing up university services, the Open University's Tony Hirst who can do some quite amazing mashups, Martin Hamilton who is trying out innovative things within the area of CRM and services to businesses, and of course Brian Kelly.

Rather than just a free for all we collected our ideas and put them on a public wiki, so you can add your own thoughts.

At the end of the session, Brian took us through University API: WTF? to get us to question ourselves. I think overall the whole API thing is a no-brainer for the digerati, but persuading management is a problem. As Andy Powell pointed out - its easy to confuse the concrete examples of what you might use an open service for (and its value proposition), with the point of providing open services because you don't know what they might be useful for!

As is usual at these events I had to produce a summary slide, which this year was inspired by the work of Dan Hilliers:

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