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How the ScreenCloud API works and ideas for how to use it.
Do you wish you had more flexibility to truly make ScreenCloud your own? Then let us introduce you to the ScreenCloud API. In this post, we’ll take you through what it is, how it works, and ideas for how to use an API within a digital signage solution like ScreenCloud.
In simple terms, an API lets one system piggyback off of another. It allows two disparate systems to talk and connect. ScreenCloud’s API is much of the same. It provides our clients with the tools needed to interact with ScreenCloud using much more flexibility and control.
For developers, it allows them to build ScreenCloud functionality into their own products. If you’re looking to take over or control your screens without logging in or using https://studio.screencloud.com, then that’s where the ScreenCloud API comes in handy. The free and open-source API can be accessed at https://developer.screencloud.com/ which allows you to do the following:
i) Build an App for Studio: start developing your custom app with ScreenCloud. This can be used for the API on the ScreenCloud Studio (2019) platform.
ii) Learn about the Studio API: integrate ScreenCloud functionality using GraphQL. This can be used for the API on the ScreenCloud Studio (2019) platform.
iii) Signage API (Depcreated): integrate functionality for the ScreenCloud Signage (Old/Legacy - 2015) platform. This can be used for the API on https://signage.screen.cloud.
All resources of ScreenCloud (users, teams, screens, and content) can be requested through the API. Doing so will provide you (or your tech team) with more detailed information about each area of the system. One thing the API particularly makes available is the data you need to interact with these areas outside of ScreenCloud’s client-facing application (which is pretty much a core purpose of most APIs).
One example may be wanting to edit screen content without needing to log in to https://studio.screencloud.com. Using the API, a developer can talk to a video resource’s endpoint to obtain the resource’s ID (a value representing that object within ScreenCloud). Then by doing the same, can get to the ID of a particular screen and team. They can then programmatically add or remove that video to or from a screen using another program.
One of our most requested use cases, made available by having an API, is the idea of a screen takeover.
Takeover allows a developer to interrupt a screen’s current playlist, or single playing content, and replace it with content from a URL. This generally provides you with much more flexibility for your screens, as you have more spontaneous, dynamic control over the screen’s content. It’s important to note with a takeover that the screen’s content state is kept, so once the takeover is complete, the screen will return to whichever content it was previously playing.
Interrupting screens with emergency notices or breaking news
In your office, a breaking news story occurs that affects your industry. You want all screens in your building to instantaneously display this. A developer can create a simple server that listens for breaking news events related to a specific industry or keyword from a news feed source, and fires an API call to ScreenCloud’s takeover endpoint with the breaking news URL, for each and every screen. This makes the process of taking over the screens happen automatically, without any manual programming required.
Presentations and live information retrieval
In your retail store, a sales advisor gets a query from a customer regarding a particular product and its use case. Your sales advisor wants to support the explanation with dynamic media. So they use a phone or tablet, or even a physical button hooked up to the physical product, to launch a series of explanatory content onto the screen in front of them.
Can I update playlists programmatically?
The API right now lets you fully control screens, but the content has to be uploaded or downloaded through signage. In the future, we plan to release features allowing you to upload/download content and update playlists programmatically.
For more help and support on using the ScreenCloud API visit https://developer.screencloud.com/.