So, what’s the Qualio Public API?
In short, API is the acronym for Application Programming Interface. An API allows two applications to communicate with one another by acting as a software intermediary. An example of an API is using an online travel service (like Expedia or Google Flights) to search for your next vacation. The travel service communicates the specific criteria you entered (airports, dates, class of travel) directly with airline providers (like Delta or United). This information is then aggregated and returned from the airline to the travel service to show you the most updated, relevant travel information.
For us, at Qualio, having a public API means that we are able to provide additional functionality and value by providing the ability to connect your existing business applications (such as G-Suite, Slack, and GitHub) to create efficiencies, reduce duplicative efforts, and provide a more seamless workflow in your day-to-day quality activities.
We achieve this, technically, by exposing pieces of what was previously only possible through the web application to the general public in a uniform, well-defined fashion (clear inputs & outputs) that 3rd party applications can use to interact with the data in Qualio (input new data as well as pull existing data out of it).
Public API Details
There are few types of API. At Qualio, we use GraphQL as it is a very convenient and simple way to integrate two applications. The biggest advantage of GraphQl is that it allows the user to define the exact data which is needed. That implies many benefits for an application that uses GraphQL API:
- Applications that use GraphQL are more stable - because they decide what data they get - not the server
- They are faster and can work stable even on a mobile connection - an ability to specify exact data needed allows transferring a lot fewer data from the server
- Very clear, organized and written faster - API is organized in types and terms that are kept in one endpoint only, so spending hours on documentation is not a case anymore
- Entities and their relationships are expressed as nodes and edges of a graph, the resulting “map” is available to you from the very first moment you interact with the API; In a single query, you’re able to fetch not only documents matching certain criteria but also their authors, trainees, change control and whatever you may need. Something similar would require multiple roundtrips to the server if you’d be interacting with a typical, REST API.
Got it - so this is an integration…
An API is NOT an integration
For clarity, an API is NOT an integration. An API is a gateway, an interface for external systems to create and retrieve data in Qualio, using a well-defined, stable set of commands. An integration is an entirely different approach which provides a simplified setup while sacrificing the scope and flexibility attainable through an API.
As an API allows for this connection, there is work involved to allow two systems to interact (“talk”) via an API (Qualio’s or any other for that matter). This is usually where your IT department would step in as it generally requires a technical person (specifically, a programmer) to build.
Take an easy way out with Zapier
If this configuration seems too complicated but you are still want to leverage the benefits of the API, services like Zapier (https://zapier.com/) are available to provide a similar set of functionality without having to write a single line of code. These are ready-to-use services that will act as a proxy or mediator between a system of your choosing (for example, Google Drive) and the Qualio API.
To provide this functionality, we have integrated with Zapier to provide a clickable interface that allows you to connect many different applications to one another and doesn’t require any knowledge of API structure to setup.
OK, I’m following... so what does the API actually do?
What can I achieve with API
The Qualio Public API is able to work with all kinds of 3rd party services so the possibilities are nearly endless. Some thought starters and common examples we see are:
Provide Great Administrative Oversight (Administrative Workflow)
- Get notified on Slack when new training is assigned to you in Qualio
- Get a new task in Jira/Asana when new training/approval/review action is available to you in Qualio
- In GitLab (or any similar service that allows user scripting), use API keys to upload test results (test output) to Qualio and associate this attachment with a new document (or simply put the test results inline, as new document content).
Enabling Document Efficiencies (Document Workflow)
- Add a new file to Google Drive -> automatically create a document in Qualio, named same as the file and with a link leading to said file
- Attach a document from Google Drive to a new document in Qualio
Unlocking Custom Reporting (Advanced Reporting Workflow)
- Export your full audit trail for tracking purposes/to help with audits
- Keep trainees list up to date and pull this data into an Excel spreadsheet for custom graphs and/or reporting logic
This sounds great - how do I get started?
First, if you haven’t yet reached out to firstname.lastname@example.org, send out a note indicating interest in the API. One of our team members will reach out to set up a time for an exploratory call to discuss the API and run through mutual discovery.
Be prepared to answer:
- What other systems do you use?
- Examples - CRM (Salesforce), ERP (Oracle), business productivity tools (Slack, G-Suite), data repositories (GitHub, Dropbox), etc
- What are your biggest quality pain points?
- What repetitive tasks are you performing between an outside platform and Qualio?
- Do you have access to a technical resource to assist with setup?
For more information, please take a look at our additional API Help Articles: