HITS and ITS partner to FREE THE DATA

open lock over circuit board

(JanBaby/Pixabay, CC0 Public Domain)

A new and improved API Directory was released on June 16, 2017. Over time, the API Directory will provide a rich repository for developers, researchers, and others to conveniently and securely use institutional data from all U-M’s missions—teaching and learning, research, clinical care, public service, and administration.

An API (or Application Programming Interface) can be used to connect one product or service with another product or service, easily and in a more secure way. The API Directory can reduce the cost of each integration by promoting best practices in security and providing re-usable business logic.

Health Information & Technology Services (HITS) partnered with Information and Technology Services (ITS) to create the new API Directory and to establish a governance structure for APIs. The new directory incorporates the viewpoints and requirements from both organizations as well as representative unit IT groups. The API Governance Council, currently in a pilot phase, is based off of U-M’s Data Governance structure and is charged with addressing the issues expected to arise when sharing important institutional data.

Freeing institutional data in a controlled and secure way continues to be the goal of the API Directory, which was initially created in 2013 by ITS. The original directory will be retired in July, and its APIs are now available in the new directory. Those APIs include Schedule of Classes, MCommunity, Buildings, CAEN Labs, Events, and others. HITS is currently exploring APIs use cases and has plans to publish APIs in the future.

The new directory streamlines the request process for access to institutional data and is approved for containing sensitive data APIs, including Personal Health Information (PHI) and data regulated by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). Using the API Directory, groups or individuals responsible for the data published as an API have tools to audit use, grant or deny access requests, and automate roll-on and -off processes.

U-M community members who have used the API directory prior to June 2017 will need to register and subscribe using the new API Directory tool by July 31. In June, individuals with applications actively using the API within the last six months will receive an email with instructions to register and subscribe using the new tool.

Visit the API Directory Overview for more information about using the API Directory, including step-by-step instructions for subscribing to and publishing an API.