What is the API?

Rachael Norris
Rachael Norris
  • Updated

In this article, we’ll take you through the basics of what the Spektrix API is and what you can achieve by using the API as part of your web integration. 

Before starting, you can get an overview of web integrations and Spektrix by taking a look at our article Introduction to Website Integrations.

WARNING: The API mode which is used to integrate your website with Spektrix is different to the API mode used for working with Ticket Agents. Take a look at the Introduction to Selling Tickets through Agents to find out more.

 

Introduction to API

API stands for Application Programming Interface. An API is a universally used type of technology, not exclusive to Spektrix. It can be thought of as a messenger that allows websites and systems to communicate with each other.

The Spektrix API can carry raw data to and from the Spektrix system and your website. 

Using the API means you can choose the information you want to receive from Spektrix and display this on your website in any way you want.

 

How does it work?

Your website can interact with your Spektrix system, communicating back and forth about upcoming Events, availability, the value of a Cart/Basket, logged in customer information and more. 

The back and forth communication is done by the API. 

Here’s a simple analogy:

  • At a restaurant, a customer gives a request (an order from the menu) to the waiter.
  • The waiter goes to the kitchen with the request.
  • The kitchen responds, and the waiter comes back with the response (the food).

The customer at the restaurant is like your website. For example, your website may request information about the dates and times of your Events from your Spektrix system.

The waiter is the API in this analogy. It takes the request and returns what has been ordered. In this case, the API would return a list of Events and their Instances, which then the website can use to display in whichever way you want. For example, as a customised What’s on page.

The menu is our list of Endpoints. Endpoints are essentially what’s available to be transmitted from the Spektrix system. 

 

API Considerations

The API is the most flexible of our integration tools. However, an integration using the API can also take the most time to develop.

There are some considerations to make when approaching working with the API.

What’s possible with the API:

  • The API is extremely flexible in functionality and design. You and your web developer can create something completely bespoke to your needs and display this on your website in any way you want.
  • The main reasons for using the API are to extend Spektrix functionality beyond what it can natively do and beyond what we consider ourselves to be experts on. For websites, this roughly equates to using it to do things that cannot be accomplished using iframes.

TIP: The API is not specific to just web integrations – many of our partners can and do use the API for their own purposes. Further information on partners can be found in the Partner Directory.

What’s not possible with the API:

  • The API has no built-in customer-facing interface. This means the way it’s used on your website must be designed from scratch and therefore will require a lot more planning, refinement, and development time.
  • Not all parts of the booking journey are available to the API - you’ll need to use an iFrame on your website for the checkout.

TIP: Ticket Subscriptions, Fixed Series Subscriptions, Memberships with Donation, Ticket Donations, Gift Memberships and Facilitated Booking are not available in the API. You can get in touch with our team if you wish to discuss if these limitations may affect you.

 

What can you do with the API?

You can use the API to add additional functionality to your website. 

Below we’ve listed some popular examples of how the API can be integrated with your website to let Customers carry out specific actions. These actions can be combined in multiple variations or with other integration tools. It’s also possible you may not need to use the API to include these functions on your website. 

REMINDER: The wireframes below are only an example of how this information may be displayed on pages. As the API allows great flexibility and customisation in design and user flow, your website pages may look and function differently.

  • Browsing Events:

The Spektrix API can return a list of Events with live Instances, along with any event Attributes.

  • Browsing Instances:

The Spektrix API can return a list of Instances, along with any instance Attributes. This can be combined with information on ticket availability and ticket pricing. 

 

  • Adding Tickets to the Cart/Basket:

The Spektrix API can return information to construct a seating plan, and has functionality to allow adding tickets to the Cart/Basket. 

 

  • Adding Merchandise, Memberships, Gift Vouchers, or Donations to the Cart/Basket:

The Spektrix API allows any combination of these items to be added to the Cart/Basket.

 

TIP: If you wish to display and sell Merchandise, Donations, Memberships, Gift Vouchers take a look at the equivalent Web Components which uses the API so you can achieve the same flexibility in design and user journey without the need to redesign the use of API calls.

  • Viewing the Cart/Basket:

With the Spektrix API you can display complex Cart/Baskets and upsell based on the items or value added.

 

  • Sign up form:

The Spektrix API can capture additional information on a sign up form such as Customer Attributes and Tags. 

 

  • Content behind a paywall/Gated content:

The Spektrix API can recognise Tags and Attributes of logged in Customers, which can be used to display certain content only to certain Customers. 

Further Reading

Now that you understand a little more about how API integration work, you might want to continue on to Configuring an API integration or Troubleshooting an API integration.

To learn more about the other integration tools available, take a look at:

 You can continue learning about web integrations in the Integrate your Website with Spektrix section of the Support Centre.

 

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