2008 BBE Conference Presentation


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  • 2008 BBE Conference Presentation

    1. 1. The Raiser’s Edge Decoded A First Look at The Raiser’s Edge API www.zeidman.info 20 th October 2008 David Zeidman – Zeidman Development
    2. 2. What is an API? <ul><li>Application Programming Interface </li></ul><ul><li>Ability to integrate and extend an application </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The Raiser’s Edge </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Blackbaud’s Infinity platform </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Facebook </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Google </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Office – Excel, Outlook, Word </li></ul></ul>
    3. 3. What is The Raiser’s Edge API? <ul><li>Term is used in many contexts: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The coding interface </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The optional module RE:API </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The optional module RE:VBA </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Some or all of the above </li></ul></ul>
    4. 4. What can the API do? <ul><ul><li>Capture The Raiser’s Edge actions (VBA) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Custom forms </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Integrate The Raiser’s Edge with other applications </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Plug-Ins </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Custom stand alone applications </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Interaction with web applications </li></ul></ul>
    5. 5. Areas of The Raiser’s Edge <ul><li>Included </li></ul><ul><ul><li>All records (constituents, gifts, events, etc) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Reports </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Static Queries (not dynamic) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Most of Batch </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Code tables </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Some security </li></ul></ul>
    6. 6. Areas of The Raiser’s Edge <ul><li>Excluded </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Global Change module </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Export </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Security users and groups </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Merge </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>NetSolutions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Queue </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Default sets </li></ul></ul>
    7. 7. VBA – Visual Basic for Applications <ul><li>Microsoft Technology </li></ul><ul><li>Embedded in Excel, Access, Word and The Raiser’s Edge </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Captures program events </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Direct interaction with current tasks </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Can be installed system wide or on a per workstation basis </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Requires RE:VBA to use </li></ul></ul>
    8. 8. Capturing Raiser’s Edge actions (VBA) <ul><li>Data from the constituent record </li></ul>
    9. 9. Capturing Raiser’s Edge actions (VBA) Save a Gift Gift saved with attribute copy Fetch constituent attribute Add to gift
    10. 10. Capturing Raiser’s Edge actions (VBA) <ul><li>Data added to the gift </li></ul>
    11. 11. Custom forms integrating with other applications <ul><li>Integrating with the animal adoption database </li></ul><ul><li>Form can be shown from a record </li></ul>
    12. 12. Custom forms integrating with other applications <ul><li>The constituent record is opened, the macro button pressed </li></ul>
    13. 13. Custom forms integrating with other applications <ul><li>The custom form shows the constituents animal adoption details </li></ul>
    14. 14. Plug-Ins <ul><li>Isolated applications </li></ul><ul><li>Requires user interaction </li></ul><ul><li>Must be installed on each client </li></ul><ul><li>No extra cost </li></ul>
    15. 15. Plug-Ins
    16. 16. Plug-Ins – Events Integration with Google Calendar <ul><li>Global add of events to Google calendar </li></ul><ul><li>Add event on save (RE:VBA) </li></ul>
    17. 17. Plug-Ins – Events Integration with Google Calendar <ul><li>Set up the integration </li></ul>
    18. 18. Plug-Ins – Events Integration with Google Calendar <ul><li>Globally add events to Google Calendar </li></ul>
    19. 19. Plug-Ins – Events Integration with Google Calendar <ul><li>Event added to Google Calendar </li></ul>
    20. 20. Custom Application – Newspaper affiliate <ul><li>Specific constituent and action fields required only </li></ul><ul><li>Ability to add new subscribers / constituents </li></ul><ul><li>Ability to both read and edit limited constituent and action fields </li></ul><ul><li>No access to fundraising information </li></ul>
    21. 21. Custom Application – Newspaper affiliate <ul><li>Search among limited constituents (due to security by constituency code) </li></ul>
    22. 22. Custom Application – Newspaper affiliate <ul><li>A specially designed subscriber window </li></ul>
    23. 23. Custom Application – Newspaper affiliate <ul><li>All Information corresponds to constituent and action data </li></ul>
    24. 24. Custom Website Integration <ul><li>Three types: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Batch – offline update </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Real time – read and update </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Combination – read real time, batch update </li></ul></ul>
    25. 25. Custom Website Integration - Batch <ul><li>No direct link to The Raiser’s Edge </li></ul><ul><li>Often one way flow into The Raiser’s Edge </li></ul><ul><li>Plug-in to validate data before update </li></ul><ul><li>RE:API not required </li></ul><ul><li>Delays cause synchronisation issues </li></ul><ul><li>“ Safest” option </li></ul>
    26. 26. Custom Website Integration – Real time <ul><li>Read and update in real time </li></ul><ul><li>Direct link to API </li></ul><ul><li>Strong validation required </li></ul><ul><li>Risk for bad data </li></ul><ul><li>The Raiser’s Edge uptime requirement </li></ul><ul><li>Can be best user experience </li></ul>
    27. 27. Custom Website Integration – Combination <ul><li>Direct read from API </li></ul><ul><li>Updates validated by plug-in offline </li></ul><ul><li>Some synchronisation issues possible </li></ul><ul><li>Best of both solutions </li></ul><ul><li>Good user experience </li></ul>
    28. 28. NetCommunity and the API <ul><li>Already a close interaction </li></ul><ul><li>Extended through the creation of custom parts </li></ul>
    29. 29. NetCommunity and the API
    30. 30. NetCommunity and the API
    31. 31. NetCommunity and the API
    32. 32. API Links <ul><li>www.zeidman.info – Free plugins and plugin directory </li></ul><ul><li>www.re-decoded.com – API blog with code examples </li></ul><ul><li>www.blackbaud.com/support/faqs/re7vbaapi.aspx - Official API FAQ </li></ul><ul><li>forums.blackbaud.com/forums/20.aspx – Official API forum </li></ul><ul><li>www.blackbus.org/forum/api-vba/ - Blackbus API forum </li></ul><ul><li>www.customizingnetcommunity.com – Netcommunity blog </li></ul><ul><li>www.usna.com – Great NetCommunity Custom parts implementation </li></ul>