An Application Programming Interface or API is a technology by which one data source makes itself available to being used as the input for services by outside parties. During the 2011 summer festival period, for the first time an API providing Edinburgh Festivals’ listings were openly available to anyone who wanted to do something useful with them.
There are two types of user of the Festivals listings API: press/media users and developer users. Press/media users such as newspapers and magazines are able to take the listings and reproduce them through their own channels and third party developers are able to use the listings as inputs or as the basis for new apps and services. In 2011, the API served ten press/media users and over twenty third-party developers who used the API to power services like Festafriend, Festivals Review and data visualisations.
Users access the API through a secure registration system with the data updated regularly to ensure quality and the data is provided under specific license terms to ensure users keep their applications up to date.
The Festivals listings API initiative is the largest of its kind in the world. In its first year it included seven summer Festivals and in 2012 included all twelve member Festivals of Festivals Edinburgh.