Your school administration software is the foundation of your school management.
It should have up-to-date data which is easy to access and use, so you know your school leaders have clear insights, your admin staff have everything they need for compliance reporting, and information can be communicated in a way that connects the school community.
But right now, your school is accumulating more and more data. Every student, parent and staff member interaction creates more data points.
The question is, how can you make sure the data collected in one system can be used in another?
How do you be confident that critical data about students is updated from one system to another, so you don’t have to worry about errors or double-handling?
It comes down to APIs.
In this article, we’ll explain how APIs work, why you need them, and how Synergetic APIs make it easier to connect your school data.
What is an API?
API stands for Application Programming Interface and is a mechanism that enables two different pieces of software to communicate with each other using requests and responses. The API defines the structure and format of those messages.
APIs are used everywhere. For example, the Bureau of Meteorology’s software system contains daily weather data. The weather app on your phone “talks” to this system via APIs so it can show you daily weather updates on your phone.
For Synergetic, our school management system, we build REST APIs.
According to Amazon, REST APIs are some of the most popular and flexible APIs found on the web today – and our developers agree 100%.
Short for Representational State Transfer, a REST API is a set of architectural constraints that ensure an API is secure, easy to use, and can handle modern app requirements.
In short, our REST APIs provide an integration point for third-party software to integrate with Synergetic in a simple, secure way.
Connecting your school data
The biggest reason for APIs is to ensure you always access the latest, most up-to-date information about your school and students, no matter which software you use. Let’s look at how this works in practice.
At the heart of Synergetic is a database that records information about the entire school community, across staff, students, parents, and alumni. It provides a rock-solid data foundation for managing administration, finance, fundraising and student records.
So, how do you make sure the data in Synergetic can be easily accessed by other software? And how do you ensure the data you collect through other software will then update in Synergetic so that it continues to be the one source of truth?
You use Synergetic’s APIs
Synergetic contains the base data layer of your school. APIs enable your other applications to connect to that data layer securely and flexibly, so they can read and write data from and to Synergetic’s database.
Think about when students join or leave your school. These changes are recorded in Synergetic. Then, the APIs allow your school’s other software systems to reflect these enrolment changes automatically.
There are countless other scenarios too.
When a class teacher records attendance, it can be reported back to Synergetic via its Attendance API.
Timetables and class information can be retrieved from Synergetic for use in other software systems.
And in our latest API release, students’ medical information can be retrieved from Synergetic by other software solutions to ensure that all staff members have access, and the information only needs to be maintained in a single place.
Why you need seamless and secure connections
We have specifically built Synergetic to make it easy to connect your data. In fact, Synergetic now has 79 APIs, after we released 14 new APIs this week.
Our developers are always looking for ways to help schools connect their software seamlessly. The new APIs include attendance, student information, timetables, and more.
With APIs, you don’t have to worry about building connections from scratch whenever you need to add a new system.
Building your own connections, or relying on third-party providers, can result in poorly optimised code which can put your school systems and data at risk.
This is critical when we’re talking about your information about your students and schools. There are strict privacy laws that mandate how you can share information with third parties. Giving vendors access to your school’s data can open the door to more information than they need, and put your data at risk.
APIs, on the other hand, provide a clear architecture for secure connections. Because Synergetic’s APIs are built and supported by our own in-house developers, they are built to optimise connections, so the system’s performance isn’t compromised by the other software being linked.
Over to you
As your school data gets bigger and more complex, APIs are becoming an increasingly important tool for any school management system. Here at Education Horizons, we are continuously building new APIs to give you more ways to connect your data with Synergetic and manage your school with ease.