API Success Stories

The Harvard API Platform is successfully being used by over 30 teams in the central administration, the college, Harvard Art Museums, Harvard Medical School, Harvard School of Public Health, VPAL (Vice Provost for Advances in Learning) and others. 

Here are few specific API success stories.

"API security, simplified": Harvard Zoom

Zoom quickly has become part of the fabric of learning at Harvard. With all the Zoom traffic, it has been essential to track the usage and quality of service, and perform other administrative and tracking functions. Zoom's native API management process is a key part of this usage monitoring, but Zoom's security model for API access didn't provide the level of granularity needed to cleanly provision access and to manage API keys.  With the Harvard API Platform, that process has been simplified. Within a couple months of bringing Zoom onto the API Platform, there are 10+ applications consuming Zoom data through the new channel. According to the Zoom API Product Owner, "The API Platform Team made the process of onboarding Zoom to the API platform very easy. Now I have better visibility and security into integrations."  For more information about how Harvard Zoom leverages the API Platform to support security and other API Management tools, feel free to reach out to apihelp@harvard.edu.

"API-driven development of a complex app": Harvard Crimson Clear

During the 2020 pandemic, Harvard developed the Crimson Clear app to enable safe entry into Harvard facilities.  This is an API-enabled app which leverages the Harvard API Platform, and has served as an essential technology for Harvard's pandemic response process.  The app employs a variety of API calls to obtain and provide data, and relies on the Harvard API Platform for simpler, more secure API management.  In the words of one of the principal developers on the Crimson Clear team: "The API Platform's proxy layer enabled us to onboard several consumers of Crimson Clear data all with different permission levels to varying data sets from a single API. There is one clear method to providing credentials for each of them and no ACLs to set up! And the Portal provided a logical place to expose documentation on the API. The API Platform makes each of those things so much easier!" For more information, email apihelp@harvard.edu and we'd be happy to share additional details.

"Speed is of the essence": Harvard Art Museums - Image Request

The Harvard Art Museums website includes a function for users to request a high quality digital image of any museum art or objects. During the fall of 2020, In a period of less than two weeks from start to finish, the Harvard Art Museum and Administrative Technology Services established an API proxy and reverse proxy in the Harvard API Platform and moved these components into production to support a critical software release. For more information, email apihelp@harvard.edu.

"Modernizing and simplifying a vendor software integration": Sponsored Research Systems

In 2021, the sponsored research systems team re-architected their integration software in order to solve data consistency issues and to simplify their data exchange processes. By tapping into the flexibility of proxy-fronted RESTful APIs, the team modernized the integration, reduced the datasets in use to the minimum necessary elements, and introduced a single, reusable source of truth for important information. By adopting the API-driven integration approach and the API gateway, the team has added value by improving data quality, which in turn improves user satisfaction, and by reducing the costs of managing and maintaining the integration in the future. As one of the sponsored research systems team members says: "The GMAS API was a critical component of our high profile project and we were able to develop and publish an API in a short period of time. It was possible because the Harvard API Platform is awesome... flexible and easy to use." Another member of the team noted: “What a big time saver for developing and deploying an API." For more information, email apihelp@harvard.edu and we can share additional details.