Blog

We've made just one change in this release, but we think it's important. 

Changes

  • We've enabled CORS (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cross-origin_resource_sharing), with the following policy ("GET" from any Origin, with any headers, disallow credentials) for all endpoints with one exception. CORS will be enabled for all public Open Data v3 API endpoints going forward. 
  • The exception endpoint is "Account" endpoint. This endpoint does not have CORS enabled. 

Other

The next immediate priorities are additional query options for the important dates endpoint, and content from the WCMS (https://uwaterloo.ca) system. This will include sites, news, events, blogs, and opportunities. 

As always, if you encounter any issues, or have a question please use our GitHub repository to open an issue

We're making minor changes, additions, and fixes in this release of the v3 of Open Data API. 

Changes 

  • Course endpoint will now return requisite (pre, anti, co) information description as part of the response (requirementsDescription). See https://github.com/uWaterloo/OpenData/issues/206.
  • Course endpoint will now return enrollment and drop consent code and description (enrollConsentCode, enrollConsentDescription, dropConsentCode, dropConsentDescription). 
  • Class endpoint will now return enrollment and drop consent code and description (enrollConsentCode, enrollConsentDescription, dropConsentCode, dropConsentDescription). 

Fixes

  • The GeoJSON Buildings endpoint was returning the latitude and longitude coordinates reversed. See https://github.com/uWaterloo/OpenData/issues/207
  • In the Course and Class endpoints the 'catalogNumber' property would have an extra space before the correct value. 

Other

There was a longer than expected interruption during the update, as there was an issue with the runtime on the server. 

As always, if you encounter any issues, or have a question please use our GitHub repository to open an issue

We've been away for some time. We tried to make some changes during that time, like moving the announcements, and news about the API, and open data to GitHub for public access. Progress has been minimal, and we'd like to take a moment to explain where things are, immediate changes, and near future ones coming up. 

Why has there been little progress? 

After taking over the Open Data initiative, and the API, there were priority and staffing changes that meant a significant loss of time assigned to the Open Data initiative. As the strategic priorities of the University and the technical group were defined and changed, we had to evaluate where we spent limited resources. While Open Data is an important asset, and supports initiatives by staff, students, and our community, there was no immediate need to make progress while v2 of the API was operational. 

What will happen with the existing legacy v2 Open Data API?

It has remained in a legacy, critical support only state for most of 2019, and through 2020. At this stage it is on hardware, and software that is going out of support by the end of the year, and must be retired. As such, it will remain operational until the end of 2020, and be shutdown as soon as reasonably possible after that date. The v2 of the API has had tremendous success with getting data out to the community, and helping to develop some amazing projects, and solve data problems. We hope to build on that with more accurate, high quality data, going forward. 

What is the status of the v3 Open Data API?

We released what we called a technical preview, and it has been live and in use by a limited amount of clients for over a year. We've now published a significant set of changes to the API endpoints, and the endpoint schemas. While we recognize this is a breaking change, based on the usage, and the changes needed to support getting the information into the API this was necessary. We'll be posting more details going forward, the biggest changes and the reasoning behind them are the following: 

  1. On the academic data side (Quest); we removed any reference to effective dating of data. We'll be providing only the snapshot of data that is true "today". Having the flexibility to see the data as it was true in the past added complexity in exposing it, and had a significant educational component to make sure data was appropriately used by the clients and downstream systems. 
  2. For academic data, and with other data as possible, we will be aiming for a range of near real time to sub-2 hour refreshes for the current, past, and next term. In all other cases data should be considered archived.
  3. There will be a significant decrease in initial endpoints available, as no authoritative data steward or system exists.

What is the status of "Crowd" data API? 

We originally planned to have the data sources we could not find a data steward for, or the data was community curated offered through a "Crowd" API. This plan is indefinitely on hold at this time. 

What changes will we be making before the end of the year? 

We'll be updating the documentation across our sites (https://uwaterloo.ca/api/, https://uwaterloo.ca/open-data/https://github.com/uWaterloo/OpenData), releasing more updates for v3 of the API, and turning off v2. 

Where do I leave comments and feedback? 

The easiest place to voice your questions, comments, and opinions is by filing an issue on our GitHub page (https://github.com/uWaterloo/OpenData/issues). If you wish for your communication to be less public, please open a request ticket through RT (https://rt.uwaterloo.ca/) for the IST-Opendata queue. 

Important Dates endpoint

There have been significant changes to the important dates data at the University of Waterloo. The underlying model for it is changing in the WCMS system where it comes from. The good news is this means that the concept of important dates will expand to more areas!

The new data is available in the new version of the Open Data API. The end point is https://openapi.data.uwaterloo.ca/v3/ImportantDates and you can find additional information and documentation here https://openapi.data.uwaterloo.ca/api-docs/index.html

At this time we will not be back porting the data into the existing v2 version of the API. This means that new dates and changes will only be reflected in v3 and you should update any use appropriately.

We're happy to make available a preview version of the Open Data API. As it stands, it has a few bare bones data sets available. We're primarily looking for feedback on the format, documentation, and the registration experience.

As a reminder, this data comes directly from the underlying authoritative systems and we're committed to it's accuracy.

Once we feel we have sufficient feedback on the registration process and the getting started guides and live documentation we will add additional data sets. The focus will be on replacing the course information, course scheduling, and those academic data sets that were by far the highest use cases on the current API version.

Please take a moment to check out the Getting Started - OpenAPI page, and try it out. We'd love if you could report your feedback on our public GitHub project page.

Thank you, and we're excited to bring future improvements (smile)

Welcome and vNext Update

It's been some time since we announced that there would be a transition period for the Open Data project. We're back to give another update and put something usable in your hands for feedback.

Open Data vNext in Technical Preview

Note: we currently do not have the email confirmation setup, expect this shortly and we'll update this post then.

The Open Data API is available in technical preview. We're borrowing the term, and what this means for us is that we are reasonably sure this is what the data will look like in terms of endpoints and model schema, but are open to feedback and can still introduce breaking changes. The API is available at https://openapi.data.uwaterloo.ca and the relevant documentation (using Swagger) is available at https://openapi.data.uwaterloo.ca/api-docs/.

Please see the Getting Started page.

For providing feedback please email sbobkin@uwaterloo.ca or post an issue on the original Open Data GitHub page https://github.com/uWaterloo/OpenData/issues.

We'll continue to iterate on changes based on any feedback and add a few more popular data sets before we proceed to the next phase.

Source API Updates

We've added improvements and new data features over the last 3 months. We will continue to add authenticated and private data end points as client needs arise and we can secure partnerships with authoritative sources for the requested data. Some of the recent data additions include service indicators, milestone information, Watcard photo data, and revisions due to the Watiam upgrade.

You can see the changes we've made reflected here.