The Swiftype PHP SDK by Tommy Brunn communicates with the API, providing search and autocomplete features for application integration. Documentation presents how to create engines, fetch documents, and include queries. To implement autocomplete, visit https://swiftype.com/documentation/autocomplete
Who ever said that institutions were loathe to change? Well call him up and let him know, the Library of Congress, with their Prints and Photographs API has finally taken the REST API plunge. If this government institution can do it, maybe you can convince the head of your IT department that APIs are a good idea too.