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Release News: Fundraising, Betas, And Gifts... Oh My!

Good news, everyone! I am pleased to announce that we have released two new APIs as open Betas today, the Gift API and Fundraising API.

Let me explain how open Betas work:
 
Our Process
SKY API development teams take an iterative approach to expanding our existing and upcoming APIs. What this means for new endpoints, entities, and APIs is that the initial release may not have everything that you’re looking for, and that is intentional. In the spirit of avoiding breaking changes and getting value to you as a consumer as quickly as possible, we try to keep things simple at first, then go back to expand and revise based on your feedback. This allows us make additive changes to fill in the gaps more accurately to suit your use cases.

We take any and all feedback we hear seriously, and we want the API building process to be as collaborative as possible. To facilitate gathering feedback and to provide some initial flexibility around the endpoints and entities that we may not have gotten quite right, we will now be releasing new APIs under a Beta tag.
 

All APIs labeled as Beta are fully operational and open for business for anyone with a SKY API subscription.

The one caveat to using Beta APIs is that listed entities and endpoints are subject to change based on feedback we receive, and some of those changes may be breaking.
 
Breaking Changes
We hope to limit breaking changes as much as possible, but they may occur. When they do, we will follow the same breaking change process we have in place today. Upcoming breaking changes will be announced in the changelog with a grace period of at least one week between announcing and releasing the change. During this window, we encourage developers to assess the impact of the change on their applications, and to post any questions they have related to the change in the Developer Community. To learn more about breaking changes and our process around them, please check out our What is a Breaking Change? blog post, available in the community.
 
Sharing Feedback
The community will be our central hub for gathering feedback on APIs currently in the Beta phase. Topics will be labeled as “Discovery” and will largely be open discussion questions about what you’re using the endpoints for, whether or endpoints and entities match your expected shape, what additional functionality you would like to see, and more. Please keep an eye out for these topics and participate as much as possible. The feedback we gather truly shapes the future of the SKY API program, so I encourage you to post comments, questions, and feedback to have your voice heard.
 
Timing
We expect newly released APIs to remain in the Beta phase for a few months while we gather and respond to feedback. Once we reach a point of satisfaction and stability with the included endpoints and entities, we will announce a more concrete date for a formal v1 release of each API. However, even after being formally released as v1, we will still continue iterating and adding new endpoints, entities, and attributes in a non-breaking way, like we’ve been doing with the Constituent API since releasing it in December.
 
Notes on new Beta Fundraising and Gift APIs
Now, in terms of the APIs that we are pushing out today, you may notice a few things missing. For one, both Gift and Fundraising APIs are predominately read only for now, with additional support for managing attachments and custom fields, respectively. More write functionality for related entities will be rolled out over the coming weeks to months as part of the EAP, including gift custom fields, CFA attachments, fundraiser management, and more. Add and edit capabilities for the top level entities (ie: add gift) are also on the horizon, but won’t be available for several months.
 
An additional area on gift that I would like to call out specifically is the current lack of gift aid information. I assure you that we didn’t forget about gift aid, and it will surface on the gift entity in the coming weeks. To give some insight into how our sausages (and entities) are made, we encountered a last minute road block to providing the desired experience around gift aid. As part of the move to the next generation of gifts, gift aid information will now be listed on the gift split level instead of as a top level summary on the gift entity. This will provide more insight into what portion of the gift is qualified, to enable better reporting and context around a given qualification status. However, completing this change is taking a little longer on the backend than anticipated and we decided not to hold releasing the rest of Gift while we complete pulling the changes through and validating the results.
 
Gift acknowledgements and receipts unfortunately fell into the same boat. These too are changing in shape slightly to better support the long term vision of gift management, and we decided it would be better to get what we have out instead of holding gift hostage while we finish implementing the next generation of these child entities. So keep an eye out for those in the coming weeks, as well.
 
I hope you enjoy the initial releases of Gift and Fundraising, and are as excited as I am to work together to continue improving and expanding the SKY API ecosystem.

Please don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any additional questions, comments, or concerns.

I look forward to working with all of you, and I’m sure you will see a lot of me in the community!
 
Posted by Halley Coplin on Mar 8, 2017 10:10 AM America/New_York