Introduction

New in version 20209.02.

Based on version 4 of the Open Data (OData) protocol, the Authoring OData API is a RESTful data service that can be used to retrieve data from a Questionmark repository.

The data in a repository is divided into three main databases covering the three main functions of Questionmark’s assessment management system: content creation, delivery, and result reporting. The Authoring OData API focuses on the data in the content creation database. For information about using OData to access data from the Delivery database see deliveryodata and for the Results Warehouse see resultsodata.

../_images/overview.png

The main purpose of this API is to provide access to content during the content creation process. Although some data is available about questions and assessments in the other API feeds these focus on the published catalog of content in active use in delivery or as information to provide additional context to the interpretation of results.

The entities exposed by this API contain a small amount of metadata to enable discovering and tracking of the content creation lifecycle. The detailed information about the content is made available in the form of XML documents marked up according to the Questionmark’s QML (Question Markup Language) and AML (Assessment Markup Language). These formats are documented here.

Refer to the OData website for a complete list of tools and libraries that have support for version 4 of the OData protocol. You don’t necessarily need a dedicated OData client library to use the Delivery OData API; you can use just about any tool that can make HTTP requests and parse JSON and XML responses. The documentation contains many example requests captured using a simple REST-client.

Security

Access to the Authoring OData API is protected using HTTP’s basic authentication. This requires the client to pass the username and password of a specially created service account. The service account must be either:

  • a user that has been assigned the Admin role in the portal, or
  • a user that has a custom role with the Access Server Configuration permission.

It is recommended that you create a dedicated role for API access and set an appropriate password policy that enforces a password of an appropriate length for an API key.

Note

For more information about roles and permissions, please refer to Roles and permissions section of the OnDemand User Guide.

When accessed without credentials, requests will generate a 401 unauthorized response indicating that basic credentials are required. It is often convenient to use a web browser when testing OData URLs, the 401 response will trigger the browser to prompt the user for a username and password and then retry the request.

Warning

the credentials required to access the OData APIs have powerful permissions and should be stored appropriately when configuring your application. They are not suitable for passing to the client browser, these APIs are not intended to be used directly from client-side JavaScript. Where examples have been generated in a browser-based tool this is for illustrative purposes only, your application should run in an appropriately secured environment.

Service Root

To access an OData service you need to determine the service root of the service. The service root is a base URL which returns an overview document linking to all the feeds (EntitySets) exposed by the API. It can also be used to calculate the location of a metadata document that provides detailed type information about the entity types supported by the API.

Warning

the URL patterns used in this section are currently subject to change.

For users of Questionmark OnDemand the service root is:

https://ondemand.questionmark.com/authoringapi/<customer ID>/odata/

...or for customers using the Europe-based service:

https://ondemand.questionmark.eu/authoringapi/<customer ID>/odata/

You replace <customer ID> with the area number assigned to the repository, for example a US-based repository with customer (area) number 123456 would have the following service root:

https://ondemand.questionmark.com/authoringapi/123456/odata/

Individual feeds can be accessed by appending the name of the feed to the service root:

https://ondemand.questionmark.eu/authoringapi/123456/odata/QuestionRevisions

would return information about Questions (including revisions) in the specified repository.

OData Features

The Authoring OData API implements version 4 of the OData standard which requires a specific OData 4 compatible client. Version 4 is not generally backwards compatible with earlier versions due to changes in the underlying schemas and communication protocol, however, the conventions for accessing data are very similar to earlier OData versions and for most simple use cases the differences are noticed in small changes to the syntax used in the URLs and query parameters.

$top and $skip

If a feed request would cause too many entities to be returned the collection returned will be truncated.

For example:

<service root>/QuestionRevisions

There are likely to be lots of Questions in the repository but even if you fewer than 100 Questions the individual revisions may well exceed the maximum number of records that the API is configured to return in a single request (100 entities). In that case, the returned collection contains the first page of results and a continuation link that can be used to retrieve the next page, and so on.

You can individually control how many results you retrieve (if you want fewer than 100) using the $top and $skip options:

<service root>/QuestionRevisions?$top=1&$orderby=ModifiedDateTime desc

This query retrieves a single entity representing the most recent question modified in the repository. To get the next one you can just add $skip:

<service root>/QuestionRevisions?$top=1&$skip=1&$orderby=ModifiedDateTime desc

The format of the continuation links may vary depending on the type of index used to satisfy the query internally. When paging through a large feed it is better to use the continuation links provided in the previous response than to manually set $top and $skip.

$filter

Supported. Filtering is only allowed on certain property values, see the feed descriptions below for details. The restrictions have been put in place to ensure that API requests do not have a negative effect on the delivery of assessments.

Example filter:

<service root>/QuestionRevisions?$filter=CreatedDateTime gt 2019-11-14T11:25:00Z

Although spaces are shown in the above URLs parameter values should be appropriately escaped for use in HTTP.

The representation of values (such as the date time value above) is defined by the OData specification. Take care to match the type of any values provided in filters with the type of the corresponding property. In particular, note that date-time values should always be given in UTC indicated by the Z suffix.

Question and Assessment IDs are 64bit integers, unlike earlier OData standards 64bit integers /must not/ have a trailing L in OData version 4.

<service root>/QuestionRevisions?$filter=QuestionI eq 100000000692
$orderby

Supported. Ordering can usually be used on any field marked as being suported in $filter. Exceptions are noted in the feed descriptions.

Example:

<service root>//QuestionRevisions?$orderby=ModifiedDateTime desc
$expand

The expansion of navigation properties is supported. See each feed for details.

<service root>/QuestionRevisions(870)?$expand=QuestionQMLs

The above query returns the entity for QuestionRevision 870 and returns metadata for each of the Question translations.

$count

Supported on base feeds, for example:

<service root>/QuestionRevisions/$count?$filter=QuestionId eq 100000000692

Returns the number of revisions of the question with the given Question ID.

$format

The service returns responses using JSON format. The $format parameter can be used to force the returned entities to include additional metadata. This can be useful when traversing the data with a tool is not able to calculate entity URLs directly. For example:

<service root>/QuestionRevisions?$format=application/json;odata.metadata=full

Will return additional metadata for each entity including links that can be used to traverse associated entities:

{
    "@odata.type": "#QM.AuthoringApi.OData.Entity.QuestionRevision",
    "@odata.id": "https://ondemand.questionmark.com/AuthoringAPI/70018/odata/QuestionRevisions(870)",
    "@odata.editLink": "https://ondemand.questionmark.com/AuthoringAPI/70018/odata/QuestionRevisions(870)",
    "Id": 870,
    "QuestionId@odata.type": "#Int64",
    "QuestionId": 100000000684,
    "Language": "-",
    "CreatedDateTime@odata.type": "#DateTimeOffset",
    "CreatedDateTime": "2019-11-14T10:00:04.12Z",
    "Author": "70018",
    "ModifiedDateTime@odata.type": "#DateTimeOffset",
    "ModifiedDateTime": "2019-11-14T10:00:04.12Z",
    "Editor": "70018",
    "Status": "Normal",
    "ReviewStatus": null,
    "TopicPath": "SteveTesting/QuestionTypes",
    "IsDeleted": false,
    "QuestionQMLs@odata.associationLink": "https://ondemand.questionmark.com/AuthoringAPI/70018/odata/QuestionRevisions(870)/QuestionQMLs/$ref",
    "QuestionQMLs@odata.navigationLink": "https://ondemand.questionmark.com/AuthoringAPI/70018/odata/QuestionRevisions(870)/QuestionQMLs"
}
$value

To retrieve the XML document associated with an entity append the $value path component to the entity’s URL.

<service root>/QuestionQMLs(Language=’-‘,QuestionRevisionId=870)/$value
$select
This query option is not currently supported by the Authoring OData API.
$search
Not supported