We’ve talked about and have made some progress on APIv4. Along with a native form builder and an improved UI, a new version of CiviCRM’s API was identified as a key objective our roadmap. While it may be the least glamorous of the three, it is an increasingly important and powerful feature within CiviCRM. And it’s time for an update.
Api version 4 represents an important leap forward for the CiviCRM platform. An api is an "Application Program Interface" used to create, read, update or delete information in the database. It is used by extensions, 3rd-party integrations, customizations, and increasingly by the core CiviCRM software itself. CiviCRM currently ships with api version 3, which has many excellent features but also some limitations which hinder development of api-based applications.
Broadly speaking, APIv4 will allow organizations using CiviCRM to:
Better integrate with 3rd party software.
More easily extend and customize their installation.
Take advantage of new features developed with this technology.
On a more technical level, APIv4 will build-upon and improve the previous version by:
Improving searches that join across multiple entities (e.g. Tags for Contacts).
Allowing bulk update/delete of multiple items.
Standardizing api signature for every entity.
Enabling complex and/or/not logic in searches.
Increasing stability with full test coverage.
No one recognizes more than the Core Team how tough it can be to move major initiatives forward. Everyone is focused on their own work. There are lots of perspectives to reconcile. And, of course, time is a scarce resource. In order to maximize our efforts, the Core Team is organizing itself into focused, 1 month ‘sprints’ that target a specific initiative.
Throughout May and June, the CiviCRM Core Team will focus its resources on building out APIv4 and on moving this key objective forward in order to improve the overall platform. Specific details on milestones and deliverables is forthcoming, so stay tuned.
Like almost every aspect of CiviCRM, you can help. If you’re into code and want to support this effort, check out the working group page, and signup for email discussion and join in on the API Chat. If you’re not into code but want to support platform-wide improvement like this, consider making a donation to our campaign. If you’re into code AND want to make a financial contribution, that’s cool too.
As of this blog post, the Core Team has raised $22,500 in commitments and are budgeting $28,350 for this effort. We've spun up a Make It Happen campaign to help close the gap.