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Specifications of EWP's Simple Course Replication API.
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CHANGELOG.md
README.md
manifest-entry.xsd
response-example.xml
response.xsd

README.md

Simple Course Replication API

Summary

This document describes the Simple Course Replication API. This API can be implemented by any HEI, even it is does not take part in EWP mobility process. Once implemented, it allows the clients to replicate the catalogue of courses conducted on this HEI. This in turn allows the clients to design rich course searching user experience.

In the draft stages of the design process, this API was referred to as "Course Search API". However, as the result of this issue, we have dropped this name along with some of its initially planned filtering functionality.

As it has been explained in the Courses API, Course is just one of the types of learning opportunity. This API MAY expose all types of learning opportunities, not only courses. See Courses API for details.

Performance note

Once you implement this API, you effectively allow your requesters to download the entire listing of your programmes and courses, and keep it synchronized later on. This is probably a good idea from a business viewpoint (because your HEIs' course catalogues will be easier discovered in external systems), but it's necessarily so good an idea for your servers.

Depending on EWP's popularity and the number of LOS objects in your system, implementing this particular API MAY introduce a significant load on your servers - primarily via the Courses API, not this one (especially if you decide to make these two APIs available anonymously).

Therefore:

  • To avoid potential problems with performance, proper caching is recommended (not only in this API, but - primarily - in the Courses API).

  • Keep in mind, that this functionality is not essential for EWP's mobility workflow, and you are free to "skip" this API if you're afraid of performance issues. It is also perfectly okay to first make it available, and then change your mind later (if it proves troublesome).

Request method

  • Requests MUST be made with either HTTP GET or HTTP POST method. Servers MUST support both these methods. Servers SHOULD reject all other request methods.

  • Clients are advised to use POST when passing large number of parameters (servers MAY set a limit on their GET query string length).

Request parameters

Parameters MUST be provided in the regular application/x-www-form-urlencoded format.

hei_id (required)

ID of the institution in which the courses are conducted. This parameter MUST be validated by the server even if the server covers only a single HEI.

modified_since (optional)

A datetime string in the xs:dateTime format, e.g. 2004-02-12T15:19:21+01:00.

If not given, then servers MUST return a full list of all their LOS IDs. This includes courses not currently conducted (if the server keeps record of such courses).

If modified_since is given, then the server SHOULD filter the returned LOS IDs to the ones which have been modified after the given point in time.

  • Servers MAY include courses which were not modified. For example, if the server only suspects that the course was modified, then it is okay to include the course's ID in the response.

  • Servers MAY ignore the modified_since parameter completely, and always respond with the full list of course IDs. If, for some reason, the server cannot reliably identify when courses are updated, then it's even better to do so.

  • Servers MAY cache the response (so that it will be generated faster for the next client), but if they do, then they MUST do it in a way which will allow the clients to receive all the changes in a standard, predictable way (though with a delay).

    For example, if you want to cache the response for 24 hours, then such cached response MUST also include all courses modified since 24 hours before the moment such response was generated. Otherwise, the clients would be missing some changes.

Security

This version of this API uses standard EWP Authentication and Security, Version 2. Server implementers choose which security methods they support by declaring them in their manifest's API-entry.

This API (as well as the Courses API), provides data which is also usually accessible to the anonymous public by other channels. It is RECOMMENDED for server implementers to not be overly strict on security methods they require (i.e. it is RECOMMENDED to not require extra layers of encryption in requests and responses - TLS seems more than enough). Server implementers MAY also consider allowing this API to be accessed by anonymous clients.

Handling of invalid parameters

  • General error handling rules apply.
  • Invalid (or unknown) hei_id values MUST result in a HTTP 400 error response.

Response

If the request was valid, then servers MUST respond with a valid XML document described by the response.xsd schema. See the schema annotations for further information.

Data model entities involved in the response

  • Learning Opportunity Specification
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