An API, in simple terms, is a method by which two software components can communicate with each other, and provides the software developer with a set of routines and tools they can use to build new software on.
Prior to PCRecruiter 8.5, the API was only available for use by Main Sequence’s own development team, most prominently as the basis for allowing the PCRecruiter Portal for Microsoft Outlook product to ‘talk’ to the PCRecruiter servers. With the public release, Main Sequence clients may now contract independent developers to write custom software that links to the PCRecruiter database, such as job boards, import/export tools, mobile applications, data integrations, and so on.
It should be noted that the API is a tool with which a qualified programmer may build new, custom software integrated with the PCRecruiter database, but cannot be used for altering the PCRecruiter software itself, which remains solely under the control of Main Sequence.
The PCRecruiter API for ASP customers is administered through a third-party web service called 3Scale. This widely-used service allows Main Sequence to manage secure access authorizations and administer a support forum for developers. 3Scale also provides tracking and auditing of API use to give PCRecruiter customers independent billing and reporting.
If a PCRecruiter user wishes to have a developer build on the API for their account, they will need to follow this process:
- The PCRecruiter account admin will sign up at https://main-sequence.3scale.net. When signing up, there are two options that need to be selected:
- Contract Type: The pricing of the API is based on the number of ‘calls’ per day made to the API. A ‘call’ is any connection to the API to send or receive data (passing the login credentials to connect to the system, retrieving a list of job titles, retrieving a single job or name record, uploading a resume, submitting a group of fields, retrieving a dropdown of available cities, etc.) The type of API contract can be changed at any time.
- Free Version: Up to 250 calls/day. This is useful for testing and development. In a production environment, 250 daily calls are likely to be quickly exhausted.
- Enterprise Version: 50.00/month: up to 50,000 calls/day.
- Type of sandbox (test) environment:
- Generic Sandbox (test database): A small database of sample names, companies, positions to be used for development. There is no charge for this setup.
- Enterprise Sandbox: This is a duplicate of the actual PCRecruiter database. This can be used for 60 days at no charge, after which Main Sequence will charge applicable data storage fees.
- Once the request has been submitted via 3Scale, Main Sequence Technology will approve it and the user will receive an activation email. Main Sequence will create a database with either a generic or enterprise sandbox database accordingly. This new database will appear in the PCRecruiter login screen dropdown as API SANDBOX.
- After the sandbox database is created, Main Sequence will send the PCRecruiter user the link and instructions for setting up the PCR API username/password within the API SANDBOX database.
- The client can then log into the 3Scale site to retrieve the API keys and other details necessary for their developer(s) to work with the API.
- After development and testing are complete, the PCRecruiter user may log back into 3Scale to request to ‘go live’, which will trigger Main Sequence to remove the API SANDBOX database from the client’s database list and will allow the API to connect with the live data.