5 Dec 2019

mpro5 Integration API Overhaul


What is the overhaul? The mpro5 system has been providing an integration API facility for a while now using the SOAP (Simple Object Access Protocol) standard. Microsoft developed SOAP and it communicates using the XML format. While SOAP originally solved a lot of problems and has been  the standard for a long time,  i t has issues of its own.  Some being –   having to  write lots of code to create the basic request structure  and  when  you send  a request through JavaScript   the  JSON  format isn’t supported,   meaning  your requests  have to   use  XML  are larger and  can affect speed.


The new integration API service

Our API service now follows the REST   (Representational State Transfer) Architectural style. This  is a stateless client-server architecture where web services are resources and can be identified by their URIs.  The benefits include it being :  lightweight, stateless, easily testable and has an easy learning curve. However, REST is the architecture, not the protocol we are using. OData is the new protocol we are using. OData(v4)  service s  use JSON  for  the format  of  requests and  have  metadata  provided  about the service. The biggest benefit is the ability to query the GET endpoints  which  allow you to filter and build your own response from the server, reducing the number of requests you need to make and the code you need to write to construct your objects  out of those responses. Another new feature is Swagger  documentation  –  a framework for describing your API using a common language . The big benefit of this is that you will be able to navigate to the Swagger web page and get a list of all the endpoints that are available to use along with the required parameters. This documentation also generates automatically so you don’t have to worry about it becoming outdated.


Moving forward 

The new service   doesn’t yet have full coverage of all entities in the mpro5  system  but we’ve got  most of the big ones  in such as:  Jobs, Forms, Audits, Invoices  etc.   W e are  continuing to add more  entities  all the time. We haven’t discontinued the SOAP services  yet,  but we are encouraging the use of the new services wherever possible.  


Not Technical?

If you’re not a  techie  and are wondering what this means for you – simply put we are upgrading our API to  work on newer standards and trying to make it faster, simpler, more flexible and easier to use. If you’re an existing customer and want to get your tech team up and running with our latest  offering,  then simply contact mpro5 and request we set up an instance of the API for you.




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