Tuesday, March 15, 2016

You may be surprised at what you can do with an API

We enjoyed meeting many librarians at Code4Lib last week! While LibraryH3lp of course has oodles of standard features available through our graphical management interfaces, we wanted to take a moment to open up the hood and illustrate some of the things we can offer to those interested in diving a bit deeper.

The LibraryH3lp REST API provides programmatic access to resources (like users, queues, chat box skins, code snippets, FAQs) included with your subscription or trial and makes it easy to write and test custom scripts to manage your account.

You can use your browser to access URLs and make use of pretty much any HTTP client in any programming language.  If you happen to dig Python, we have a ready-made SDK available under @libraryh3lp on GitHub.

But when there’s so much flexibility, sometimes it is hard to know where to start!  Here are some ideas to get you started…

Account Management

  • Create a new user, automatically adding her to queues, conference rooms, canned message pools, and buddying her with colleagues. 
  • Perform a search/replace operation across FAQs.
  • Bulk import questions and answers into a FAQ.
  • Edit questions or templates in the console. Because consoles rock.

Chat

  • Display staff chat status as an in/out board. 
  • Count the number of active chats and the number of operators currently staffing chat.
  • Receive reports when too few operators are staffing.
  • See if chat is online and, if not, why not. 
  • Somebody forgot to log out.  Opt that operator out of staffing so guests don't think you're available.
  • Update staffing assignments on a schedule.
  • Create a chat bot to answer basic guest questions.

Metadata/Statistics

  •  Forward all of yesterday's chats to your inbox.
  •  Get a summary of last week's activity. 
  •  Delete last month’s transcripts. 
  •  Download chat transcripts for import into Excel.
  •  Download a record of FAQ views and searches.

3mail

  •  Poll 3mail for new messages and send notifications via chat or email.

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