Monthly Archives: September, 2010

On APIs — The “Earl” Edition

September 2nd, 2010 Posted by activeCollab API, Basecamp API No Comment yet

UPDATE (Dec. 16, 2010): All Basecamp connections are now required to be secure connections. If you are using Basecamp, make sure that the API URL path entered in the settings panel begins with https://.

It’s the morning of September 2 here in Virginia, and we’re anxiously watching the path of Hurricane Earl to see if it will wreak havoc over our three-day weekend (Monday’s Labor Day here in the U.S.). We sincerely hope that your experience with TimeThis has not been ruined by an “Earl” of another sort. Unlike the hurricane (have you seen this image taken from the International Space Station?), this kind of “Earl” is easy to overlook.

This is your API URL (yeah, we love homophonic puns). Why is it easy to overlook as a possible cause for problems between TimeThis and either activeCollab or Basecamp? Because just one character can mean the difference between success and not-success.

This means that if your API URL begins with http://, then the URL as entered on the TimeThis Server Settings tab of the TimeThis settings panel needs to begin with http:// — conversely, if the URL begins with https://, then it needs to begin with https:// in the application’s settings.

And, of course, an http:// and https:// mismatch gets you a date with Earl.

Enabling the Basecamp API

September 1st, 2010 Posted by Basecamp API No Comment yet

If you’ve downloaded TimeThis and cannot get it to talk back and forth with Basecamp (retrieve projects, submit time, etc.), there’s a good possibility that API access has not been enabled for your Basecamp account.

So how do you enable API access? It’s pretty simple, but there’s one very important point to be made up front: only the Basecamp account owner has the capability of making this change. So if you’re not the account owner, pass along these instructions to him or her.

If you are the Basecamp account owner, log in to your account and click the “Account (Upgrade/Billing)” tab in the upper righthand corner (note: it may just say “Account”).

Scroll down the page to the section labeled “Basecamp API“.

Check the box indicating that you’ve read the “API Terms” section of the Basecamp terms of service (after reading them, of course), and then hit the button to enable the Basecamp API for your account.

Voilà—your Basecamp API has been enabled. Once you enter your Basecamp API URL and Key in the Server Settings tab of the TimeThis settings panel (find out how), TimeThis will be able to retrieve projects from and post time to your Basecamp account.