The service provides tools for recruiting, fundraising, and organizing by not-for-profit organizations, political campaigns, and other issue advocacy environments. It emphasizes community building around social causes and issues with the goal of promoting involvement and financial support. Campaign management functions help to coordinate messaging and integrate responses with fundraising and related functions.
API methods support interactions of other systems with the providers organizing, communication, advocacy, and fundraising tools. The API handles messaging from external systems to update community information managed by the platform via methods to get data from the system and save data back to system nodes. API calls request resources at the campaign's own domain, which the service helps to establish and manage.
The Salsa Commons API is a REST and XML API that, as Salsa explains,
"At it's simplest, using the Salsa API may consist of just a form placed on an external website ... At it's most complex, you could use a Ruby library to authenticate, pull down information on recent supporters and events, validate that data, change it, and submit it back to the node, while generating and displaying counts of petition signers -- all through the API."