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As the options for consuming content continue to increase, it’s difficult to predict where your viewers will watch TV or how to best monetize that audience. Keeping pace requires flexible, future-proof solutions that you can customize for today with the expectation that tomorrow’s business needs will change.

At Imagine, we believe that the key to a thriving future is to enable open, easy-to-use models for integration, so we can all move forward faster. That belief was the driving force behind a major, companywide initiative we began in April 2022 to build an API Developer Portal.

Imagine’s API Developer Portal project set out to accomplish two initial goals:

  • Extend our open platform philosophy by providing customers with access to our APIs to enable easier integration with our products.
  • Create a tool that enables partners and prospective customers to see how Imagine products help fuel innovation in a constantly changing business environment.

In this blog, we give you an insider’s view of what it took to build the portal, current status of the project, and how you can gain access to a repository of continuously updated and completely documented APIs that enable rapid integration between your existing tooling and Imagine’s solutions.

Gathering Our Data

The project team, comprising stakeholders from across R&D, Product Management, Architecture, and Product Documentation, started by discussing the initial scope of the project, reviewing other API Portals and documentation, evaluating tooling options, and collecting our APIs.

It’s probably not a surprise that with dozens of hardware and software products in the Imagine portfolio and globally dispersed R&D and Product teams, we quickly found that our existing API and protocol documentation was created and maintained in a variety of ways over the years:

  • Designed using various methods (REST, SOAP, XML, Java, etc.)
  • Sorted by audience into internal APIs, external APIs, and some with both internal and external endpoints
  • Published as PDF guides that quickly went out of date
  • Stored discreetly on individual R&D hard drives where its dissemination could be regulated
  • Written with varying levels of completeness, documentation, and code samples
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Streamlining API Documentation
for Efficient Integration

Unifying Our Approach to API Development

Looking at the historically diverse condition of our APIs created the next set of goals for the API Developer Portal:

Build a Company-Wide Standard for Developing and Documenting New APIs

Our APIs connect Imagine products to each other and to our partners’ and customers’ products, so their consistency is critical for easy implementation. Initially, we discussed the possibility of rewriting all of our APIs as REST, but that wasn’t practical from a technical or resource perspective – more on that in a moment. Moving forward, all new APIs are REST, based on the OpenAPI standard from Swagger.

Store All the APIs for Current, Legacy, and Future Products

The team’s decision to focus on REST design meant some of our older APIs and protocols wouldn’t “fit” into the REST-based tool we chose for our Portal. To solve this problem and focus our resources on newer APIs, our architect built a process for adding a link to our older PDF-format API guides to the Portal — we call them “Proxy APIs” because they don’t contain code. When an updated guide is ready, we can replace the old one quickly, and our customers can access them immediately in the Portal.

Automate (as much as possible) the Portal Workflow

The goal here was to reduce R&D’s time commitment for putting new and updated APIs into the Portal. Our APIs are now documented within their code, but this increases burden on the developers who know what the integration points do. To organize API development into manageable chunks, we’ve incorporated that work into our SAFe Agile PI Planning and track it with Jira tickets.

Discover Imagine’s Products—A to X

After a year-and-a-half of work, we now have 36 APIs and proxies complete in our API Developer Portal and fewer than eight remaining to add — unless we find additional ones hiding somewhere! These APIs total more than 1,600 integration points across our newer and legacy products ― products from “A to X” (but no “Z” yet). If you don’t see one of your products listed here, its API is likely in progress.

Internally, the Portal workflow is becoming ingrained in our teams’ processes and updated APIs now appear in tandem with product releases. Our project team meets weekly to status current work, resolve issues, and discuss next steps for improving the Portal’s content. Sales and Services teams can demo our API Developer Portal to potential customers and know it contains the latest information.

For our partners and customers working with Imagine, the ability to review APIs in conjunction with other product information enhances the discovery process. Customers who have already implemented our APIs are giving us feedback — on both the good and the bad — that helps determine improvements to APIs and plan future product features. This dialogue enables us to respond more quickly to your business needs.

1,654 Integration Points and Counting!

Imagine’s API Developer Portal features APIs and proxies for new and legacy products, including:

Aviator

Broadcast
Master

D-Series

GamePlan

Landmark
Sales

Nexio

OSI

Magellan Control
System

Selenio Network Processor (SNP)

SureFire

Versio

xG Linear

What Can Imagine’s API Developer Portal Do For You?

If you’re new to Imagine’s product lines, ask if there’s an API to go with the product. Tip: Some products have multiple APIs! We can show you what’s available in the API Developer Portal so you can learn how to capitalize on a product’s features, to improve your integration velocity and your bottom line.

If you already own Imagine products, the API Developer Portal enables you to easily access the most up-to-date versions of our APIs and their documentation, so you can take advantage of the latest changes to our open platform. As the industry presents new business challenges, you can tailor your response quickly using fewer resources and maximizing revenue.

Most importantly, the API Developer Portal is another way that Imagine is working to help the industry overcome current business challenges and keep pace with transformational change.

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Elevate Your Integration Game
with Imagine's API Portal

Ready to Explore Imagine’s API Developer Portal?

Take a look at our Customer Portal’s API page for a full list of product APIs currently available. You can request access through the Customer Portal or reach out to your Sales / Care representative.
an abstract image of several origami boats sailing on an arrow - there is a man in the lead boat looking out with binoculars

Ready to Explore Imagine’s API Developer Portal?

Ready to Explore Imagine’s API Developer Portal?

Take a look at our Customer Portal’s API page for a full list of product APIs currently available. You can request access through the Customer Portal or reach out to your Sales / Care representative.

November 22, 2023 - By Katie Petito
Manager - Product Documentation
Certified SAFe® Practitioner
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portatif of Steve Reynolds

President

Steve Reynolds

Steve Reynolds is President of Imagine Communications, a global leader in multiscreen video and ad management solutions that broadcasters, networks, video service providers and enterprises around the world rely on to support their mission-critical operations.

Steve brings 25 years of technology leadership in the video industry to Imagine Communications. He has served as the CTO at Imagine Communications and Harris Broadcast, Senior Vice President of Premises Technology at Comcast, Senior Vice President of Technology at OpenTV, and CTO at Intellocity USA.

Steve earned a MS in Computer Engineering from Widener University and BS in Computer Science from West Chester University. As the Chairman of the AIMS Alliance and a member of SMPTE and SCTE, he has participated in numerous standards-making bodies in the cable and digital video industries. Steve also holds over 40 patents relating to digital video, content security, interactive television and digital devices.