Hoping to spark closer integration with third-party applications, Citrix has exposed a number of APIs (application programming interfaces) for three of its collaborative services, GoToMeeting, GoToWebinar and GoToTraining.
"Historically, we had not built our products to be open," said Citrix Vice President Bernardo de Albergaria. "But we've seen more and more SaaS service providers wanting to integrate with our products."
The company has set up a portal where "any developer can register and get access to the APIs," de Albergaria said. The portal also contains documentation for working with the APIs, and forums where developers can discuss their implementations.
Tying in products to help customers
Prior to the establishment of this portal, Citrix did offer a few APIs for GoToMeeting, though only for select corporate customers. The open APIs for GoToWebinar and GoToTraining are new.
Citrix manages about 400 million minutes of audio conferences per month and hosts 125 million sessions with its collaborative products offered through its Online Services division. Exposing some of the APIs for these products will allow other software firms to tie their own products more closely with Citrix's, potentially reducing the amount of manual record-keeping on the part of their customers.
With GoToWebinar, for instance, an external application can draw attendee data from the application, which then could be used in marketing efforts. A user of GoToTraining can have his or her progress charted by an external learning management system. Synching GoToTraining with another management application would reduce the number of times a user would have to enter basic information into a program.
APIs concern data-sharing
Some third-party software providers are already using the APIs to fuse their own products with the ones offered by Citrix. Health-care software provider TactusMD is pairing with GoToMeeting with its own software to build a telemedicine application.
GoToMeeting has 10 different APIs exposed through the portal, GoToWebinar has seven APIs, and GoToTraining has 15. More APIs may be added in the future, and, at present, Citrix is not charging for their use. The APIs use the REST (Representational State Transfer) for conveying data, and use OAUTH for authentication.
"Most of the APIs are really around sharing data back and forth,"said Cat Allday, Citrix product line director for GoToTraining. The company does offer an API for creating meetings and webinars, but the user requires an organiser account.
The APIs for GoToTraining, for instance, can provide information such as student attendance, including the time in a session and level of participation.