To integrate Etrieve with Ellucian Banner, Reed’s ERP, a link server was set up between the Etrieve database and the Oracle database, where the Banner tables live. SQL stored procedures leverage the link server to pull data out of Banner, manipulate it and pass the data through Etrieve’s Imports functionality designed to pull that data in. Each day the institution downloads and automatically indexes College Board documents for Financial Aid, leveraging a perl script in conjunction with Imports within Etrieve and stored procedures on the SQL server.
Recognizing the role that ECM plays in support of key campus systems, Reed College not only wanted to develop robust integrations between Etrieve and Ellucian Banner, but also with the Integrated Reed Information System (IRIS). A password-protected portal through which students, faculty, staff and alumni can access needed information through multiple apps, IRIS is integral to the student experience at Reed. Wishing to provide effective integration and use of single sign-on between Etrieve and IRIS, Reed realized that additional APIs would be needed. This strategy would allow them to display documents, living in Etrieve, and provide access to required e-forms through the portal.
“We worked with the Softdocs Development Team to build specific APIs which allowed our Registrar’s Office to go live with Etrieve,” said Kerri Creager, Director of Administrative Computing Services. “We now use these APIs to display Etrieve documents through IRIS, as well as forms that are pushed into Etrieve as documents—once a user logs in and submits them.”
Currently these forms include an Academic Advising Questionnaire and a Health Insurance Waiver Form.
"While we could have set up our students and faculty as users in Etrieve, we didn't want to introduce a new system—and the need for another password—to our community," said Creager. "Instead, we coordinated with Softdocs on the creation of APIs needed to present Etrieve documents through our central web portal."
Realizing the flexibility and communication benefits of the requested APIs, Softdocs asked Reed to serve as a Customer Development Partner. Roberts and others met with Softdocs developers every few weeks to help advise on the functionality of Etrieve’s newest RESTful API. The Softdocs Development Team, following an agile methodology, presented developed features to Reed for testing, following each sprint. Reed and Softdocs would then discuss, before Softdocs’ developers entered another sprint to make additional, incremental changes. This approach not only sped up the development of the needed functionality, but also ensured the APIs were exactly what was needed by the institution.