The Contensis Open API
The Contensis Core .Net API
Many of our competitors will say that they have an extensible API that you can use. Our product is architected in such a way that our User Interface and Services use our API.
This means that anything that we can do in the UI you can do through code. You may wish to automate processes; you may wish to create a specific tool for a specific department to contribute content in a tailored manner. Whatever your needs, the tools are there. If you come on one of our Developer Training courses we will give you the knowledge and examples to create almost anything you desire.
The system also has a plug-in architecture that allows you to extend it e.g. add new buttons or create new reports. This gives you the flexibility to cater for very specific needs and you can do all this without affecting the ability to upgrade the system at any time you desire.
The system is written in the latest .Net framework 4.0 which means that your developers can use Visual Studio to interact with the API and utilise all the Intellisense and features that Microsoft provide for us out of the box. If you are concerned about costs, it is actually possible to use the free versions of visual studio to deliver on all of the standard requirements you may have.
Although our API is not open source, we are more than happy to provide our customers with code if required. In one case one of our University customers came to us and asked if they could have the code to one of our navigational controls so they could extend it slightly. Naturally, our first call was 'can we extend it for you?'. After this analysis it was deemed that the change was so bespoke that no other customers would ever benefit, so we simply provided the developer in question with the source code of our control and they went on to update and extend it to meet their specific requirements.
We are very open with our customers and, as long as we are not giving away core sensitive code, we are more than happy with this kind of approach. We are even toying with the idea at present of making our non-licensed web control code available so any of our customers can see how things are done - a route that Microsoft themselves have taken with great benefit to the community.
Contensis Web Services
When you install Contensis, there is a SOAP Web Service installed as part of the installation. This Web Service allows you to access much of the functionality of Contensis.
In fact we use this Web Service for our Office add-in functionality, and it allows you to create, delete, archive and much more.
The Web Service has a proper WSDL, so anyone with a development environment that supports these, such as Microsoft Visual Studio, will be able to connect to the Web Service and start working within minutes.
As well as providing the ability for automation, this Web Service is also a central part of our single sign-on framework.