Matt Gudites

How do we *USE* API?

Discussion created by Matt Gudites on Mar 11, 2019
Latest reply on Apr 5, 2020 by Quan Nguyen

We are new to Canvas, coming off of Blackboard. I've got to say, I'm kind of shocked and dismayed at how little can be accomplished via the GUI. It seems like just about every thing I ask our implementation team about doing, the answer is always "you'll need to figure out how to do it in the API." 


Batch apply/change the Grade Scheme? Do it via the API.

Batch course-copy material? Do it via the API.

Batch publish a bunch of courses? Do it via the API.


I've been sent to this page a number of times: Canvas LMS API Documentation


We do have a programmer on staff who I know can figure this out. However, he's a busy guy and has limited time to be able to spend on this. The Canvas LMS API Documentation link above doesn't really give any information on where to begin...what do we need installed on a PC to make these calls, for example?


We've asked Canvas how to do this stuff, for some baseline instruction on how to setup a PC to run the scripts, only to be told "Instructure cannot tell you that, we're not a scripting company." I don't know how they can tell us "we can't tell you how to do this" when the software seems to rely on scripting for damn-near everything.


Can someone point me to some instruction please? Is there nothing out there, some kind of baseline instruction on how to prep a PC to run a script that can run against a Canvas environment, and how to build one of these scripts, so we can make some of these batch changes that came SO EASILY in Blackboard? Surely there are schools with Canvas who don't have an army of programmers at their disposal, but still have a need to accomplish tasks that the woefully inadequate GUI can't do. What do they do?!