While each service has its own independent API, they share a common way of working.
Like the IBM
® Connections user interface, the application programming interfaces (APIs) for the IBM
Connections applications are accessed using HTTP, so they work over your intranet from any program that can send and receive HTTP.
To retrieve information from the IBM
Connections applications to use in your programs, you must use a feed
to retrieve the data. A feed
is a special data format optimized for retrieving information that may change over time. The information in a blog is an obvious example of a feed: each time a new topic is added to the blog, the feed for the blog indicates what has been changed.
There are a number of popular standard formats for feeds, including RSS (Really Simple Syndication) and the Atom Syndication Format. The IBM
Connections APIs use the Atom Syndication Format for providing information that your programs can retrieve. For more information about the Atom Syndication Format, go to the following external web site:
XML is used as the data format for Atom, so you can use this API from any program that can send and receive XML over HTTP. Your program can process the XML itself, or use a program such as Apache Xerces, or Apache Abdera, to make the job easier.
In addition, the IBM
Connections API allows programs to create new information in the services, and update existing information using the Atom Publishing Protocol. This version of the Connections API conforms to RFC 5023 Atom Publishing Protocol, with IBM
Connections-specific extensions as allowed by the standard. For more information about the Atom Publishing Protocol, go to the following external web site:
For compatibility, note that the Atom Publishing Protocol defines an XML namespace, http://www.w3.org/2007/app, for use with data elements related to publishing operations. Earlier releases of the IBM
Connections API used a namespace from a previous draft of the protocol, http://purl.org/atom/app#. The draft namespace continues to be accepted on input, however it is deprecated. Output from the API uses the new namespace. Namespace-aware tools, such as Apache Abdera, handle this change for you. Write your programs in a namespace-aware manner to guarantee forward compatibility and prevent issues due to potential XML namespace prefix changes.