Posted on 04-23-2014
I’ve been tracking on education and university APIs for a while now, but after kicking off some work on the FAFSA API prototype, and preparing a response for to the request for information (RFI) on the use of APIs in higher education data and student aid process, I'm ramping up the time I’m spending on education related APIs.
APIs in higher education is also one of the areas 3Scale and API Evangelist are partnering, to help define what the API landscape looks like across higher education institutions, and as I do with other business sectors, we are looking to stimulate the API conversation amongst existing leaders from the space—online, and offline at as many events as we can.
In support of all of this, I went through the API efforts of 10 institutions I’m currently monitoring, to see what was new, reacquainting myself with what each of the institutions were up to. My primary goal was to establish a list of the common services that other universities could offer, based upon these existing API leaders, and I was well on my to compiling a pretty robust list, until I got to Brigham Young University (BYU), and I was blown out of the water.
BYU wins the API deployment game within a university with the 261 web services they have listed in their registry. Every aspect of university operation is represented as a web service, and as you scan down the list, and you look at the XSDs, you realize how much work went into their API stack. There are definitely some interesting things going on at University of Washington, UC Berkeley and in Poland around university APIs, but BYU blows everyone away.
I will go through the list of web service from BYU, clean up a little, and use to seed a general list of potential services that other universities could use when planning their own API program. When I profiled the cloud computing API space, Amazon Web Services has such a complete list of APIs, I was able to use them as the starting point for a cloud computing API blueprint. In the same way, I think BYU list of services is so complete, it provides an extremely complete blueprint for other higher education institutions to potentially follow.
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