Innovate, automate and integrate with Forsta APIs
True insights from Market Research, Voice of the Customer and Employee Engagement programs rely on the ability to correlate and integrate the information with other areas of your business, such as platforms for Customer Relationship Management, product management, Enterprise Resource Planning, or accounting. Forsta provides programmatic access to your organization’s information using simple, powerful, and secure application programming interfaces (APIs).
Forsta APIs offer a broad range of extensibility for our SaaS and On-Premise customers wishing to extend the capabilities of the platform. Forsta is committed to providing seamless integrations through its broad set of REST and SOAP APIs designed with specific use cases in mind.
Why Forsta APIs?
Forsta APIs are part of Forsta, the world’s most advanced solution for Customer Experience, Market Research and Employee Engagement programs.
Forsta APIs act as a window into Forsta, allowing third-party systems to interface with Forsta’s software platform to help you to generate more actionable business insight by combining data from multiple supplemental data source.
Forsta uses the following API protocols:
- Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP): a general purpose framework for data exchange between peers which defines how data can be sent between a set of applications. This is achieved by packaging the data in Extensible Markup Language (XML) documents. SOAP is a standards-based access protocol.
- Representational State Transfer (REST): a lighter alternative that relies on a simple URL instead of using XML to make a request. REST can use four different HTTP 1.1 verbs (GET, POST, PUT, and DELETE) to perform tasks where you’re just getting started. You can then establish key areas of focus linked to business outcomes.
- Leverage the services and functionality of Forsta
- Integrate Forsta with other applications
- Extend the functionality of the Forsta platform
- Integrate your applications with Forsta using SOAP and REST
An overview of Forsta APIs
Forsta supports the following APIs
The Authentication SOAP API allows applications to authenticate themselves and obtain a session key before using the Forsta Web Services. The use of the API allows seamless access to the Forsta platform. The session key is a cryptographically strong hash that uniquely identifies the logged on user and is submitted as an argument in all subsequent calls to the SOAP APIs for the duration of the session to identify the client application.
The Authentication API provides you with the first step for accessing any of the Forsta SOAP APIs. Effectively, it enables access using a Forsta User ID with the correct API permission status, returning a key that you need to use to call any of the other APIs
Responsive survey rendering API
When using a responsive survey layout you get a single survey template that, when displayed on the respondent’s screen, automatically renders to the size of the browser. Regardless of browser width, the survey will adjust its layout (and the question displayed) in a way that is optimized to the screen, providing an excellent respondent experience. When using a responsive survey layout you have access to the powerful responsive survey rendering API.
The API allows you to adapt the experience for standard survey questions or create your own custom question experiences, e.g. a custom ranking experience or a shopping cart experience. The API exposes capabilities that allow you to programmatically answer questions, perform validation, or navigate forward and back. For validation, you can trigger the existing rules or create your own custom validation. The API contains an object model of all questions on the current page that enable you to build whatever client-side experience you need. These adapted or custom experiences can easily be applied to several questions throughout your survey or be reused in other surveys.
Data transfer API
The Data Transfer API is a SOAP API that enables you to automate the transfer of data to or from Forsta. For example, you can transfer respondent sample information from a CRM or HR system, or transfer response data collected using Forsta to other enterprise applications. These functions can be used separately or together to enable your enterprise application integration, streamlining and automating the survey and reporting.
Forsta provides data exports in formats that are easily loaded into other databases, such as delimited text files and Excel. Response data can be imported and updated using tab-delimited text files. You can transfer respondent, survey and panel data.
Client applications define structures that are called transfer definitions and then pass these into the system to retrieve data, or to perform inserts or updates. A transfer definition is a data structure that allows you to specify which survey variables and fields you involve, as well as optional filters that further limit the data set. The Data Transfer API removes the labor-intensive process of manually preparing files for transfer. This is particularly useful for routine processes and can save considerable amounts of time, while freeing up staff for other activities.
Forsta’s Authoring SOAP API enables client applications to create, edit, and manage surveys by providing an interface to manipulate projects and survey definitions. Most functions in the programming interface mirror core project management functionality and features that are available in the Forsta authoring application. These include survey design, exporting, importing, browsing, and editing survey definitions.
Access to the survey definition is useful in any scenario where you need to explore the elements in a survey. One example is a generic data transfer application that allows a user to define transformations of Forsta survey data to or from an external data source, where it is essential that the semantics associated with the different codes found in the raw data are known.
The Authoring SOAP API allows you to design questionnaires outside Forsta, and programmatically add the survey definitions to the system, instead of going through the Forsta user interface. This is ideal for converting existing survey definitions sitting in legacy systems into Forsta projects, and for building proprietary tools for experimental survey design that can then be added to the Forsta system.
The Forsta Panel API extends the core functionality of the Forsta Panel system and allows you to customize it for greater control and flexibility over your panel management processes. It also enables you to integrate panel management with other systems. Using the SOAP API, you can add and remove panelists, check panelists credits, get sample information, as well as retrieve and update their profile variables and survey history.
In addition, Forsta offers a separate API for managing panel credits (points) for incentive programs for panelists, enabling greater flexibility and a richer panelist experience.
Forsta Quota API enables client applications to retrieve quota information, including quota counts and targets; update quota targets, removing or updating the quota rows (cells); recalculate quota counts; and synchronize quota targets between design mode and test mode or production mode.
This SOAP API offers you greater scope and flexibility when it comes to quota management and quota status reports from external applications.
Database Designer API
Forsta’s Database Designer API is a SOAP-based interface that enables retrieval of external answer lists in lookup tables, as well as retrieval, updating, and deletion of hierarchies in Database Designer.
This API allows integration with other systems, such as Enterprise Resource Planning applications, to maintain up-to-date organizational hierarchy definition used in surveys and reporting. It also allows for the creation of an external application to manage the hierarchy definition. In addition, the Database Designer API can be used to synchronize lookup answer lists (for example a list of brand names) used in surveying and reporting with an external system.
The Deployment API provides a SOAP-based interface to the Forsta Task System and exposes functionality for initiating tasks and managing the survey process. The task system executes tasks that are either non-interactive or that you want to set up to run on a regular basis without user interaction, such as sending bulk email invitations and launching surveys.
By using the Deployment API, you can prepare response databases and deploy interview files for surveys you have created through the Authoring API. You can use this API to monitor tasks or you may also use this API to initiate email jobs after loading or updating respondent data through the Data Transfer API, or when a management system decides that it is time to send out survey reminders.
Forsta CATI API
The Forsta computer-assisted telephone interviewing (CATI) API enables you to integrate Forsta CATI with your internal systems. This is a REST-style API so its interface follows simple HTTP methods. A typical example is to use the Forsta CATI API to derive payroll information from the CATI system to calculate interviewer pay. The following areas of Forsta CATI can be integrated with your systems programmatically:
- Export call history and interviewer break data
- Manage interviewer accounts
- Manage interviewer assignments
- Open and close surveys
- Export interviewer session data (login and logout timing info)
- Apply CATI survey settings (e.g. applied scheduling script or extended status group)
Forsta CAPI API
Our powerful computer-assisted personal interviewing (CAPI) API allows typical CAPI management operations to be automated or integrated with third-party systems, in particular the field management systems used to manage interviewer workforces.
The CAPI API is a SOAP API that enables standard interviewer management operations to take place, such as the creation, modification, and deletion of interviewers on the system, and the ability to determine assignments that are currently set, or create new assignments. The messaging system for communicating with interviewers is also exposed, allowing text-based messages to be sent to interviewers. These operations can be performed for individual interviewers or in bulk for several interviewers at the same time.
As well as management of interviewers, the CAPI API is also able to access the CAPI synchronization log to retrieve details regarding the status of data synchronization with interviewers in the field.
Forsta’s reporting APIs make building detailed reports in Forsta Reportal quicker and easier, and enhance the opportunities for sharing data across your organization. This maximizes the value you create with your feedback and market research activities.
Forsta offers two reporting APIs:
- Forsta Reporting SOAP API that enables client applications to create, edit, and manage analyst tables for use in Reportal. It allows users to programmatically build table definitions and table properties without accessing the GUI, providing opportunities for automating the production of tables for Forsta Reportal reports.
- Forsta Reporting REST API that provides an interface for tables and charts created in Public Reports. This gives you the ability to embed tables and charts from a Reportal Public Report into any other Web page by referring to a specific URL, providing a mechanism to integrate these results into existing portals or intranets.
How can Forsta API help you accelerate your business?
Forsta APIs provide a scalable way of automating your business processes. As a result, they can significantly improve the quality of your distributed information systems, as well as decreasing the time it takes to develop them – simultaneously leveraging the power of Forsta as a cornerstone for delivering actionable insight to the enterprise.
To find out how Forsta APIs can help you to streamline your business processes and develop an enterprise-wide program for true insight, contact a member of our sales team today
A trusted platform
Forsta API Access is part of Forsta, the world’s most advanced solution for Customer Experience, Market Research and Employee Engagement programs. Our experts understand how critical reliable, scalable performance is, and how to help you get the most from your platform to maximize ROI. Forsta has delivered uncompromising reliability with 99.995% uptime or higher for SaaS users every year for the last five years.
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