An Integration Overview of ConceptShare

Posted by Deltek on January 1, 2020

ConceptShare Developer Resources

Overview

ConceptShare’s powerful APIs and ongoing focus on integration capability allow for several approaches to integrate ConceptShare into broader solutions for your customers and end-users. ConceptShare’s comprehensive and powerful APIs allow for a high degree of customization and automation. As we’ll explore in more depth, you can automate tasks and workflows, setup side-by-side systems integrations, and even fully embed ConceptShare’s proofing capability directly into other host applications to add a seamless review & approval user-experience to existing solutions.

Here, we'll provide an overview of ConceptShare’s high-level integration features and capabilities, for customers and partners interested in leveraging ConceptShare's APIs.

Common Integration Scenarios

1. Workflow Automation

Common and repetitive user actions can be automated using ConceptShare’s SOAP APIs. Barring the limitation (added by design) that asset approvals and user comments must be provided by real end-users; nearly everything else can be automated. Tasks such as asset uploads, project and review creation and management, user provisioning and management, and nearly all other administrative and workflow related activity can be customized and automated using the SOAP APIs. Common examples include:

  • Creating "hot-folders"; monitored folders that detect new files being added and automatically upload assets to ConceptShare.
  • Automated user, project, and review provisioning.
  • Creating custom reports for the analysis and improvement of the organization's review & approval process.
  • Triggering external workflows in other applications based on user activity in ConceptShare.
    • Ex. The status of a ConceptShare Review changing from In Progress to Completed used to trigger a workflow in an another system or application.

2. Side-by-Side Integrations

The typical side-by-side (SxS) integration is built such that two fully stand-alone applications (ConceptShare and your own application) can trigger workflows between themselves. For example, your application could provide access to reviews in your end-user's ConceptShare account, and allow the end-users to create or manage existing ConceptShare reviews from directly within your application. The Proofing & Approvals for JIRA plug-in is an example of how such an integration works. Conversely, user actions performed in ConceptShare could be used to trigger workflows in your own application.

In a SxS integration, the host application can make use of ConceptShare's Review Dialog, which allows users to manage and create reviews in ConceptShare.

ConceptShare Review Dialog
ConceptShare Review Dialog

Users would first configure the integration to point at their existing ConceptShare account (often by providing its account URL and a set of account admin credentials). Then, using the Review Dialog and its REST APIs, you could allow end-users the benefit of performing key proofing tasks directly within the context of your own application. As an integrator, there's also added benefit of leveraging the Review Dialog; avoiding the complexity of implementing all the front and back-end logic that you would otherwise need to build in order to surface the equivalent functionality. As the Review Dialog is routinely maintained and updated by ConceptShare, downstream maintenance cost and effort is also reduced.


Note: SxS integrations built using the Review Dialog will use its simplified REST APIs. If the integration requirements go beyond the comparatively limited REST APIs capabilities, the more comprehensive SOAP APIs and CoceptShare’s Event Callbacks (webhooks) can be used to fill any gaps.

3. Seamlessly Embedded Review & Approval (OEM) Integration

In OEM integrations, the host application is given complete administrative control of an entire ConceptShare instance, not just an account. ConceptShare's proofing capability is seamlessly embedded within the host application and ConceptShare acts as a proofing widget to extend the host applications broader capabilities.

ConceptShare seamlessly embedded OEM integraiton model

A sample wireframe of a host application with ConceptShare's proofing seamlessly embedded within an IFRAME

  • The host application has full administrative control of an entire ConceptShare instance, wherein in it can create any number of accounts and users (as permitted by the terms of your ConceptShare license).
  • The ConceptShare Proofing Workspace is embedded and can be accessed seamlessly as a widget in the host application using an iframe and the end-user may not even be aware that the IFRAME they’re looking at is ConceptShare (as compared to another component of the host application).
    • The host application exclusively manages access to ConceptShare for the end-user by requesting pre-authenticated resource URLs for that user for a given asset or a given review.
    • There is no stand-alone end-user access to the account or data by end-users.
    • The host application is the single point of entry and access.
    • end-users cannot freely navigate out of the proofing workspace (as they can with a stand-alone accounts and explore adjacent projects or reviews).
    • end-users only access the review or asset for which the pre-authenticated link is generated by the host application.
  • The host application controls all aspects of users provisioning, permissions, and access control.
  • All asset management, project creation, and review creation and management is controlled by the host application using the SOAP API and Event Callbacks.

Technology

SOAP API

ConceptShare’s SOAP API has the most extensive feature coverage for building integrations. Nearly every aspect of ConceptShare’s features (except for leaving feedback and approving assets, which must be only done by real people) cab be automated using the SOAP API.

REST API

REST API is currently limited only to the Review Dialog. If you wish to build a Side-by-Side integration with ConceptShare, leveraging the pre-built Review Dialog via the REST API significantly reduces design overhead by addressing all the elements of user, asset, and review management.

Maintenance & Support

Standard Releases Schedule (SRS)

Get the latest features & updates as soon as they are Generally Available (GA).

  • All ConceptShare accounts that are on the Standard Release Schedule will receive any bug fixes (minor or major) as well as any new features as soon as they released.
  • These updates are performed transparently to end-users and are entirely managed by Deltek’s cloud operations team without any required input.
  • Email Notifications to account owners and administrators are provided in advance and upon release for new features to keep you informed of what’s new.

Fixed Releases Schedule (FRS) for Long Term Support

  • A predictable & stable maintenance path:
    • ConceptShare releases a new build with cumulative updates every quarter.
    • Each quarterly FRS build is supported for 6 months only for essential bug fixes.
    • No features are added or removed during the 6 month lifespan.
    • No breaking changes to the API are introduced during the 6 month lifespan of the build.
    • As new quarterly builds are released, you will be notified and you decide when to update your Development, QA, and Production instances to a newer build.
    • This allows a 3 month overlap between releases, give you safety net for support and flexibility to stay up-to-date.

Requirements

Side-by-Side (SxS) Integrations & Stand-alone Automation

  • One or more ConceptShare account(s) on the Standard Release Schedule.
    • This includes any accounts on the North American, European and South African multi-tenant instances
    • The ConceptShare account(s) must be licensed to allow API access

Embedded (OEM) Integrations

  • Segregated Instance(s) of ConceptShare
  • Enterprise License
  • Partner Keys and Partner Tokens
  • Fixed Release Schedule (optional but highly recommended)

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