SYRACUSE, N.Y., October 18, 2011 — Polaris Library Systems, a pioneer in the development of library technology solutions for public, private and academic libraries, today gives its customers the ability to easily build, test and share software applications with both Polaris and other libraries. With the launch of the Polaris Developer Network (PDN), Polaris grants customers open access to its application programming interface (API).
The PDN is an online developer community that allows for collaboration across libraries and with Polaris developers. There are online forums to foster discussions and share ideas, a space for uploading and downloading documentation and programs, and a testing environment called the Polaris Sandbox where customers have access to the API and Polaris' PowerPAC, its public access catalog interface.
"When we give our customers the tools to customize our technology to suit their individual needs, we find that we get really innovative, useful ideas as a result," said Bill Schickling, president and CEO, Polaris Library Systems. "Opening up our API via the new PDN gives them safe, secure access to develop, share and collaborate, and it lets us all work together to help improve the services we provide to our communities."
The Polaris API is a web-based service comprised of a set of universal resource identifiers (URIs) which return data from the Polaris application database. This interface provides customers with controlled access to Polaris software so that they may build their own Polaris-integrated applications for the web or for desktop and mobile devices.
"The easiest way to understand how our API works is to think of the entire platform as an electrical system," said Jeff Young, senior software developer, Polaris Library Systems. "In this case, the Polaris ILS database is the power source. The Polaris API service is the electrical outlet, and the Polaris API documentation describes how to create the plug. With this plug, customers can push that power out onto other programs to reside on smart phones, computers, web services, tablets — virtually anything that uses software. With the PDN Sandbox, they can test out how well that plug works, they can ask for feedback on how to make it better, or they can share it with other libraries and with us."
All Polaris contract customers are eligible for free membership accounts into the PDN. Commercial vendors may purchase PDN membership accounts for their organizations. Visit the Polaris Developer Network at http://developer.polarislibrary.com.
About Polaris Library Systems
As pioneers in the world of library automation, Polaris Library Systems' mission is to empower libraries of all sizes through technology. Today, almost 2,000 libraries count on Polaris products and services to help better manage their resources, reduce costs, boost productivity and improve patron satisfaction. For more information about Polaris Library Systems, visit www.polarislibrary.com.