Creating and Editing Sierra API Access Keys

This document describes how to create and edit Sierra API Access Keys for Pika connections.

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What are the Sierra APIs and why do I need a key?

The application program interface (API) is a set of routines, protocols, and tools for building software applications.  The Sierra API allows access to types of records for a third party application e.g. bib records, item records, patron records.  A third party application can harvest information from Sierra via APIs and deliver it back continually to their application.  The Sierra API Keys authorize an external application to use your Sierra system's API.

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Accessing, creating new, and editing API Keys

The Sierra API Keys must be accessed through your library’s admin site.  Each library will have a server hostname that is set up by Innovative. 

Here is an example of the address: https://<server host name>/sierra/admin


The Sign In is located on the Welcome to Administration Application page.  Log in using your Sierra username and password. If your login does not have access to this site, you will need to talk with your library’s Sierra system administrator or someone from Innovative.

Click on the Sierra API Keys link under the Other Web Applications

The API Keys page will display all the keys created by your library.  It will list the Client, API Key, Expiration Date, and Status.

The Status column will either show Enabled or Pending.  When the API is created, it will show a pending status.  Once the person who was sent the new API key has activated it, the status will change to Enabled.

To create a new Sierra API Key click on the Create New button.

The Client should contain a naming convention of Pika_the Sierra version your library is currently using ( i.e. Pika_4.3). The Client Email will always be sent to  The Expiration Date default is No Expiration (you do not need to change the default).

The Patron Permission can be left unchecked.  Under Roles, click on the following boxes: Bibs Read, Branches Read, Fines Read, Holdings Read, Items Read, Orders Read, Patrons Holds CRUD, Patrons Read, Patrons Validate, Patrons Write. Click on the Generate API Key button. 

Libraries with older Sierra versions (4.0, 4.1, 4.2) may not see the Patron Holds CRUD or Patron Validate options.

Once the key is created, it can be edited to update any changes. When new functionality comes into an API and Innovative adds new endpoints to the APIs, the existing API key can be edited to have more permissions added. A new key does not need to be generated.

The new endpoint coincides with the new roles. Innovative will send information about API changes in the release notes for any Sierra upgrades. Marmot will inform anyone when there are new roles, and when an existing Sierra API Key needs to be edited.

Once the Generate API Key is used, the New API Key screen will appear.  There will be a brief confirmation pop-up letting you know the email has been sent.  Even though the Status is listed as Enabled, this key is still pending until someone at Marmot contacts you.  Click Done.  

When you return to the API Keys list, you can see that Status is still Pending. Click on the Client link to see more information.  

Here is an example of the email that is generated to to finish the registration of your Sierra API Key.  The Pika Team will click on the Continue Registration link, and create the “Secret” to finish the process.

If the Pika Team has not created the “Secret” for your Sierra API Key, that information will display on your API Key Info page.

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External Sierra API Key Documentation