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The Application Programming Interface

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What is an API?

An API (Application Programming Interface) is a set of objects, methods, and procedures that support requests from external sources or programs. Simply put, it is a way to communicate with the ad server without having to use the user interface.

With the inClick Ad Server API, you can develop your own custom extensions and connectors to the inClick platform. Via the inClick Ad Server API, you can adapt the platform to meet virtually any business requirement you have now, or unexpectedly encounter in the future.

Use Case: Application Integration to the inClick Ad Server

Problem: Company X has hundreds of publishers within their advertising network that are paid on a monthly basis. Using the standard user interface, a Company X employee generates a Publisher Earnings Report, manually enters every publishers payment amount into QuickBooks, assigns a check number, prints checks, and then goes back to the ad server to enter the payment details. This process was performed for each publisher every month, a tedious and error prone task due to the potential of human error.

Solution: To eliminate these errors and to speed up the process, Company X wrote an automated routine that runs once a month. This routine, or script, talks to the inClick Ad Server API to retrieve publisher earnings data, clear and post earnings in the ad server, post those earnings into QuickBooks using a QuickBooks API, obtain the check numbers from the QuickBooks API, then post the payment amount and details back into the inClick Ad Server via the inClick Ad Server API.

Once the process was done, all the Company X employee had to do was log into QuickBooks and print checks - a day long process that now takes no more than a few minutes to complete!

Example: Extending Reporting with Flash-Based Graphs

To help visually see how your network is performing, API users can extend on the existing reports through the API by adding Flash-based charts. In the example below, we have drawn the last 30 days of statistics from our demonstration system though the API. The raw API data is then parsed, formatted, then integrated into a third party open-source charting system called Open Flash Chart to generate the Flash based view below. To see the raw data, click here.

Use Case: Extending on the Ad Server Framework

Problem: Company Z runs a market specific search engine. Native search results are delivered from within their proprietary search system with listings originating from various data providers, a data feed. To monetize the search results, Company Z not only wanted to provide the typical "Sponsored Links" text ads, but also wanted to provide the ability for a data provider to sponsor their data feed around certain search criteria. By using the standard XML data from the ad server, no special API requirements were needed to integrate the "Sponsored Links". However, the sponsoring of the external data, a "Sponsored Result", required something more integrated.

Solution: By using the API to extend on the inClick Ad Server foundation, Company Z was able to create their own Custom Campaign Type, "Sponsored Results", from within the ad server user interface. This Custom Campaign Type utilized a separate workflow created by Company Z and was seamlessly integrated into the ad server user interface. Since the content of the feed data was dynamic, the data provider only has to provide their bid amount and the keyword(s) they wish to match.

During the delivery of results, the proprietary search engine runs a series of queries on the ad server API to determine what results, if any, are sponsored. In the background, the search engine reports which listings were delivered and if a click was originated by that delivery.

Even More: In order to provide accurate reporting of both Sponsored and Native results, Company Z utilized the Reporting Extender feature to provide additional reporting information that would normally not be found within the ad server, but from their own data store. By connecting the ad server to the data from the proprietary search system, Company Z was able to include the number of native results and native clicks returned in addition to the standard report data of "Sponsored Links" and "Sponsored Results".

What can I control with the API?

Just about anything, really. Over 97% of the functionality found in the standard user interface is available in the API. Additionally, the API contains functionality not found in the user interface. Want to get a technical look a how the API works or see some code examples? Visit our API Documentation here.

The Result: Customization Beyond "The Box"

In its off-the-shelf state, the inClick Ad Server is quite a robust platform. However, through the use of the API, you can extend on the ad server beyond its current capabilities to fit your project or venture needs. From a customized billable action, to special types of ads, the inClick Ad Server is ready.

Will My Model Work with The inClick Ad Server API?

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