This page describes the differences between the various APIs offered by SeeClickFix and provides some guidance regarding which API to use for different situtations. In addition to the two public APIS, partner organizations have access to a private organizational API also. The three APIs discussed here are:
- SeeClickFix APIv2
- SeeClickFix APIv2 for Organizations
The Open311 API is a standards-compliant API that provides access to public issues on the SeeClickFix platform as well as the ability to report issues without needing to establish a SeeClickFix user account. The Open311 API is documented here.
Some additional SeeClickFix specific details can be found here.
Each organization has its own Open311 endpoint (https://seeclickfix.com/open311/v2/:organization_id) and an aggregate endpoint for all public issues on the SeeClickFix platform is available at https://seeclickfix.com/open311/v2 with extensions for locating issues by location.
SeeClickFix APIv2 also provides access to public issues as well as features designed to be used by interactive issue reporting applications. It is geo-spatially organized rather than organized around individual organizations.
Issues are viewable via this API without authorization but content creation and updates requires valid authentication.
SeeClickFix APIv2 for Organizations
This API is a variation of SeeClickFix APIv2 with endpoints scoped to individual organizations:
This API is the only one that provides access to private issues and other non-public content. Access to this API must be authenticated and is only available to properly authorized members of the respective organizations.
Choosing an API
The following section reviews suggested uses for the APIs:
- viewing public content
- accessing API as a public user
- viewing public and private content
- accessing API as an organization user
The difference between the three APIs are summarized in this table:
|API||Public Only||Geo Scoped||Org Scoped||Private Content||Authentication|
|APIv2||yes||yes||no||no||required for creating/updating|
|APIv2 for Organizations||no||no||yes||yes||always required, organization members only|
Viewing Public Content
All of the APIs can be used to view public issues.
We recommend using the Open311 API where possible or SeeClickFix APIv2 if additional content such as public comments is of interest. These APIs are intentionally limited to public issues and public details.
The Open311 API does not require any user authentication. See https://seeclickfix.com/open311/v2 for documentation.
SeeClickFix APIv2 does not require user authentication for viewing but does require authentication for creating or updating content. It can be used for accessing public issues, but it is scoped by geography and so can be more difficult to use than the Open311 API if the goal is to access issues associated with a particular organization. See https://dev.seeclickfix.com for documentation.
The organizational API is not recommended if the data is to be used for public display as this API includes access to private issues and extra attention must be paid to handling the private content.
Accessing API as a Public User
The Open311 API and SeeClickFix APIv2 can be used to report a new issue as a public user. Open311 does not require authentication while APIv2 does. APIv2 for Organizations is restricted to members of an organization and is should not be used to report an issue as a public user.
Viewing Public and Private Content
The only API that allows access to private content is APIv2 for Organizations.
In order to access the organizational API, the API client must be authenticated as a member of the organization. We recommend that API clients be associated with their own user rather than re-using a real person’s user id. This “API user” must be added as a member of the organization in order to utilize the organizational API and will be counted towards any user license limits.
The documentation at
dev.seeclickfix.com should be used for
accessing the organizational API but with the understanding that
the organizational endpoint is of the form
:organization_id is the account id for the partner.
The membership role associated with an API user controls what content can be accessed, created, or updated by the API user via the organizational API. We recommend that the user be given the limited role of an “internal user” and not “owner” or “manager” when the API user isn’t creating or updating content.
3rd Party Access Considerations
Some partner organizations may want to allow a 3rd party tool to have access to their data via the SeeClickFix APIs. Partners should review the following considerations in these circumstances.
Partners are always responsible for adding users to their membership roster when needed for API access. SeeClickFix employees are not authorized to create members or provide access to credentials (passwords) for API access.
Accessing APIs as an Organization User
Open311 can not be used as an organizational member as no user authentication is supported.
APIv2 can be used as a member of an organization but access as a member only provides access to a few additional capabilities. Those capabilities include access to internal request categories and questions as well as transitioning an issue to and from the Acknowledged state.
APIv2 for Organizations can only be used by authenticated organization members according to their membership role. It is designed to to be used by the organization for automation or integration purposes.
APIv2 for Organizations Details
When creating content via APIv2 for Organizations, the new content (service requests, comments, etc.) will be associated with the authentiated as with basic APIv2. In addition, during issue reporting, it is possible for an authenticated API client to create an issue on behalf of another user. For example, an API client can authenticate as an autmated “API user” but create issues with staff members as the reporter of record.
Choosing an Authentication Method
Choosing an authentication method is important to ensure that appropriate authorization controls are in place and that created content is associated with intended user.
Single User Access: Basic Authentication
If the API client is always going to interact with the API as the same user, such as with an automated system, then Basic Authentication can be used to gain authenticated access to the organizational API. The user should be configured with an appropriate membership role for its purpose (“internal only”, “manager”, etc.).
For the special case of creating an issue, it is possible to use the organizational API to create an issue on behalf of a different member of the organization. In this case the API client is recorded as creating the issue but the other user is recorded as being the reporter for the issue, which allows the other user to interact with the issue as if they had created it. This can be particularly useful for private issues. TODO
Multi-User Access: OAuth Authentication
If the API client is going to create or update content on behalf of multiple organizational users (for example integrating SCF reporting into another application) where the actual user is available to login as needed, then OAuth authentication should be used. Details on establishing an OAuth application ID can be found at dev.seeclickfix.com. This method is appropriate when the API client needs to present itself as different users to the API and is more common when the API client is a website or native app that is being used by multiple users as opposed to an API client that is being used by an automated system.