TLC’s CARL•X APIs Continue to Expand on a Longstanding Integration Tradition
TLC’s second generation of CARL•X web service API development continues to race forward as updated APIs are released to the CARL•X customer base and third party development partners. Some of the world’s largest and most innovative public libraries will take advantage of the new and enhanced offerings for Circulation, Bibliographic and Item Searching. Additionally, TLC is now offering a new suite of Patron Services APIs that became available this month for a multitude of projects ranging from seamless integration with TLC’s very own new CARL•Connect Circulation web-scale product, as well as with the BiblioCommons Discovery Layer.
While TLC is pleased to offer these latest updates for flexible integration options, their commitment to providing comprehensive and well-documented APIs is hardly a new concept for the company. TLC’s philosophy of viewing their library customers as partners, and extending access to APIs in order for them to create additional services to their communities–according to their priorities–is rooted in a long-standing development belief. Over the years, CARL•X customers have enjoyed full API coverage spanning needs across Patron Authentication/Information, Circulation and Fine Payments, Acquisitions and Cataloging services, and Data Synchronization of bibliographic and item information. Incorporating library and developer feedback regularly during the development process has improved the CARL•X suite of APIs over time. Notably, TLC introduced real-time availability with patron service integration to the library industry through one of the earliest discovery layers, and recently participated in the integration of the BiblioCommons Discovery Layer at the Chicago Public Library. TLC was also the first ILS vendor to seamlessly integrate their library catalogs with the industry’s leading eBook vendors through the use of APIs, and they continue to monitor the marketplace for additional integration options in this area.
The CARL•X APIs use both the SOAP and REST web service access protocols to retrieve, update, and input library data into the CARL•X ILS. Using both of these standards in tandem allows TLC to take advantage of a wider array of complex tasks, which results in a greater variety of third party integration options for their library partners. It also facilitates TLC’s investment in designing APIs that are employed for its own in-house ILS development as well. Some third party partners who have leveraged the CARL•X suite of APIs for major integration projects with CARL•X libraries are: Baker & Taylor’s Axis 360 E-Book platform, the OverDrive E-Book platform, BiblioCommons Discovery Layer, and Quipu’s Online Borrower Registration functionality, to name a few.
As TLC continues to build and improve its fully featured API offerings as part of the core CARL•X product, CARL•X libraries and their development partners will continue to successfully implement user driven local services, without additional costs. This unique business model not only improves the CARL•X APIs, but also the CARL•X community.