Getting Started

To get started using SKY API, follow this step-by-step guide. After you complete this tutorial, you'll have your Blackbaud developer account, a subscription key, and you'll learn how to try our SKY API console.

  • Step 1 – Set up a developer account

    Sign up for a Blackbaud developer account. This account represents you as a developer within the Blackbaud Developer Portal.

    Already have an account? Sign in to continue with the Getting Started.

  • Step 2 – Get a subscription key

    We require you to have an approved subscription key to a specific API product before you can use the SKY API. This subscription key is associated with your Blackbaud developer account.

    How to get a subscription key?

    1. To request a subscription to an API product, from the Products page select SKY API Standard Edition.
    2. Click Subscribe. A confirmation screen appears.
    3. To submit your request, click Confirm.

    Blackbaud approves the subscription requests. We will send you an email notification when your request is approved. After it is approved, you can view the subscription details within your developer profile.

    Important! In order to be approved for a subscription key, you must be an authorized user in at least one instance of Raiser's Edge NXT or Financial Edge NXT. This requirement ensures that you have a tenant to make API calls against.

    About your Subscription

    Your profile provides details about your subscriptions. Each subscription contains a Primary key and a Secondary key. You can use either key as the subscription key value for the Bb-Api-Subscription-Key request header in calls to the API.

  • Step 3 – Activate the SKY API Console

    The SKY API Console is a Blackbaud application built into the Endpoint Reference that can be used to test the SKY API. Before jumping in to build your own applications, we recommend you add the SKY API Console to your or your customer's tenant to aid with testing and development.

    To access a tenant's data, the SKY API Console, must be approved by a tenant administrator. For Blackbaud customers, a tenant administrator is a user within the organization that is part of the Supervisor security group. This may include Partners or API subscribers that have their own dedicated tenant, or are Supervisor users in their customer's tenant. Administrators provide approval for applications, including the SKY API Console, by activating the application within the Applications area of the product.

    To activate the SKY API Console, the tenant administrator needs to do the following:

    1. Copy the SKY API Console Application ID:
    2. Visit the Control Panel, Applications area of the product.
    3. Select Add application, paste the SKY API Console Application ID, and select Save.

    Once added, The SKY API Console will appear in the list of activated applications for the tenant.

    Important!  The same process can be followed to activate additional applications for your tenant. Simply substitute the application ID for the one provided in the My Applications area of your Developer Account to add your own application, or use the application ID provided to you by a Partner or third party developer that you know and trust.

  • Step 4 – View the Endpoint Reference

    Now, you are ready to explore the endpoints available to you!

    1. Open the Endpoint Reference and select an API. A list of endpoints appears.
    2. Select an endpoint from the list.
    3. Review the information in the reference, including the:
      • Request URL
      • Request parameters
      • Request headers
      • Response codes
      • Sample JSON data
      • Code samples
  • Step 5 – Try it!

    When you are signed in, you can test the SKY API with the SKY API Console.

    1. From an Endpoint Reference, click Try it. For example, in the Constituent Endpoint Reference, select the Constituent (Get) endpoint and click Try it. This activates the SKY API Console.
      API Reference
    2. Under Query parameters, enter a parameter. For example, enter 280 for the constituentId parameter.
    3. Under Headers, select the show/hide icon in the Bb-Api-Subscription-Key field. The value reflects the selected subscription key from the Authorization section.

      Note: The Request URL and HTTP request change based on the values for the parameter and request header field values.

    4. Under Authorization, select Authorization code in the Blackbaud OAuth 2.0 Service field.
      Authorization Code
    5. The Blackbaud Authorization Service displays a SKY API Console pop-up window.
      Authorization Code
    6. Select a tenant. Approved API subscribers with access to their own dedicated tenant need to activate the SKY API Console as an approved application.
    7. Click Authorize. This gives the SKY API Console access to your SKY API data for the selected tenant.
    8. After you approve the SKY API Console to access the API data for your Blackbaud developer account, the HTTP request is populated with the `Authorization:Bearer ` header. This represents the access token for the request.
    9. After you have a bearer token and configure the values for the URI parameters, click Send to submit the request. The response includes a response status, latency, and content including JSON data for the requested endpoint.
      Approved Authorization
  • Step 6 – Next steps

    Learn how to create an application with SKY API.

    Learn how Authorization works, including the Authorization Code Flow and associated tutorials.

    Review our support resources including our Changelog, Issues, Ideas, and FAQ.

    Clone our code samples that demonstrate the Authorization Code Flow and SKY UX, Blackbaud’s next-generation user-experience framework.

    Join our Developer Community, and subscribe to stay up-to-date with the latest hot topics and announcements.