Person API to Replace PICH for UW System HR Data Integration

As the Enterprise Integration API Team approaches delivery of new UW System-wide functionality in the Person API, we want to share details about how it fits into the existing data integration ecosystem, what’s in scope, and what’s not.

For many years, PICH – the Person Hub Interface for Campus HR data – has been a primary mechanism for UW System institutions to consume Person data. As the Person API has evolved over the last couple years, it became clear that the Person API would play a key role in replacement of PICH. The API Team is thus adding to the Person API to provide similar, but not identical, capabilities as PICH for UW System institutions.

The Person API and its event-based capabilities will enable applications and integrations that previously used the MILER-developed PICH interface to be informed of changes to a person’s demographic information and jobs using webhooks. Documentation on the Person API, including information on webhooks, is available here. The team is also working towards developing documentation on how a developer that currently uses PICH could use the Person API to be informed of changes to person and job data. This documentation will detail differences in the architecture between PICH and what is provided by the Person API. We plan to work on this story in a near future sprint.

There are also efforts underway to help developers build an integration with the Person API. The Enterprise Integration team responsible for the Integration Platform (IICS) at UW-Madison is adding to existing documentation and tutorials on using the Person API and its event-based capabilities. Some of the documentation is in place already here, specifically the tutorials about Person API and webhooks. The Integration Team continues to refine these tutorials and have plans for end-to-end examples of using IICS in an integration with APIs in the near future.

Additionally, the UW-Madison SIS team is currently working on an integration with the Person API in Peoplesoft Integration Broker as a replacement for their usage of PICH. They plan to share what they have done for other institutions who might choose a similar integration path.

While the Person API won’t provide one-to-one parity with PICH, the requirements for the initial release of the Person API to UW System were derived from discussions with institutions that currently use PICH and discussions with application owners who have similar real-time data use cases and needs. These discussions fed directly into backlog items for the team and include the functional requirements for our initial release.

Out of scope for our work includes mechanisms for institutions to send information back to the Person Hub, a process called PIP, which, to our knowledge, will not be changing with the Workday implementation. Additionally, the API Team will not be developing a client to consume events from the Person API. We use a framework called JSON:API that enables existing standards-based clients, including IICS, to leverage the API. We will also look to proof of concept work from the UW-Madison SIS team to help guide usage of the Peoplesoft Integration Broker as a mechanism to use the Person API’s webhooks.

For specific milestones, visit our team’s dashboard, or email to be invited to our public, biweekly sprint reviews.

Jon Terrones – Person API Product Owner
Division of Information Technology