What is Clickworker API anyway?
In order to be able to offer clickworkers tasks to work and earn money, we first have to load tasks, along with their corresponding data, into our system. There are different ways our clients´ wishes can be fulfilled on our platform, and we´ve gone through a few variations.
In the early days of Clickworker, the tasks we processed were fine-tuned by the solutions team and the data sets were swapped in the form of Excel spreadsheets and text files. The solutions team would then rework and format them in order to load the data into the system. After the tasks were completed, our colleagues would take the data out of the system, reformat and return it to the client. Altogether, this can be a pretty round-about and tedious process.
In order to shorten the time it takes to work on the project orders, (especially when it comes to smaller quantities), we´ve made it possible for clients to load data onto – and download results off of – our system directly. Later we later created the Marketplace. There, clients can manipulate their orders freely, adding, saving – as is possible in many other websites. The results created by clickworkers can also be called up by the client in Marketplace.
If a client regularly submits orders, like 100 per day, filling out this form with the same info all the time can get tedious. The repetition and continual entering of data requires a lot of time. In order to automate this procedure for our clients, we have built an interface which can be programmed by the clients themselves. Generally, this is what we call application programming interface (API). As soon as the client has a new order in their system, it can automatically send us a message with the data for the order. Our system reads this message and automatically creates available tasks for our clickworkers. As soon as the tasks are completed, our system sends the client a message back (also automatically) with the results attached. The client´s system can then read and process this message.
As it stands, our solutions colleagues have to manually adjust the settings for each order, before the data can go any further. Our next step would be to make the process more fluid so that each client can determine the set-up specifics, including which data they send in, how the clickworkers should work on the tasks and how the results should be compiled.
(Written by: Jörg Sädtler, software developer und part of our clickworker.com tech team.)