OverDrive’s product and development teams have been hard at work developing a suite of APIs (application programming interfaces) that will enable approved vendors to deeply integrate OverDrive-hosted catalogs and nearly 1 million digital titles with their apps and platforms. In July, we’ll launch the OverDrive Developer Portal along with the first set of OverDrive APIs.
As part of the development process, we’ve been working with a group of booksellers, publishers, school, library, discovery platform and mobile technology partners to collect and define integration specifications in order to ensure that OverDrive APIs meet industry standards and support the expressed needs of vendors and developers from around the world.
The OverDrive Developer Portal will serve as the online gateway for developers to gain secure access to OverDrive APIs. To date, dozens of OverDrive partners—including ILS vendors, mobile app makers, library partners and others—have expressed interest in the new tools. Via the Developer Portal, interested vendors can apply for access. Once approved, they’ll find software, documentation, test scripts, and technical support information to enable rich integration with OverDrive digital content.
The initial group of OverDrive APIs will include:
- Metadata API: Access catalog information such as title, author, description and title samples.
- Availability API: Provides unique title-availability information from library holdings including number of units or copies, units available for lending, number of copies on hold, etc.
- Search API: Allows a variety of third-party platforms and applications to search OverDrive digital collections.
The second-stage OverDrive APIs will include:
- Content API: Enables direct transaction activity with the digital media title—for integrating with OPACs, discovery layers and mobile apps, enabling direct ability to browse, borrow, place holds, and download OverDrive titles.
- Acquisitions API: Supports direct purchase of digital titles from OverDrive and Content Reserve by integrating from third-party ordering services, ILS holdings, or as a result of holds in a library physical catalog.
- Reports API: Data-exchange services for OverDrive-hosted transactions for aggregation with ILS and other reporting services
OverDrive is completing R&D and pilot testing of OverDrive APIs with select booksellers, library vendors, and discovery platforms. To receive notification when access to the OverDrive API Developer Portal becomes available, please email a request to APIfirstname.lastname@example.org.
OverDrive APIs are part of an ongoing series of technology investments to streamline reader and staff use of their OverDrive-supplied eBooks, audiobooks, music and video services and collections. Once fully deployed, OverDrive APIs will enable vendors to explore new ways of integrating OverDrive content, extending the reach of the “virtual branch.” Publishers will benefit from increased exposure for digital and print titles on more platforms; OEMs will find tools for integrating eBook discovery into mobile devices; booksellers will be able to expand existing catalogs with OverDrive’s industry-leading selection of eBooks and audiobooks.
Michael Lovett is Public Relations and Social Media Specialist at OverDrive.