How to Use an API: Just the Basics

You might tell the CRM system that you want all of the sales of a particular product from the past five years at your Chicago, Atlanta, and Dallas locations. If your company uses a customer relationship management system like Salesforce, the data you are looking for is probably somewhere in their cloud storage. I use a tool called Acho to turn API endpoints into CSV files. It would parse almost all API endpoints through the parameters and even configure for multiple requests, such as iterative and recursive requests. See how it gives back a lot of text with many brackets and commas?

How does API interact with database

Skyscanner is a metasearch platform that lets travelers look for flights at the best rates from Skyscanner’s database of prices. Also, Skyscanner provides its affiliate partners with a RESTful API supporting both XML and JSON as the data exchange formats. In order to improve security, they encourage partners to only use HTTPS protocol to make requests. Vulkan is a cross-platform API that works on the operating system level. It enables developers to create high-quality, real-time graphics in applications and drives the communication between an application and a graphical processing unit.

Solution 1: Pull API data manually on a browser

The “Using The Administration Interface” section describes each connection pool setting. The “Using The Command Line Interface” section merely lists syntax and default values. Some JDBC access problems can result if you attempt to access JDBC features that are either partially supported or not supported by the JDBC driver. Check the JDBC driver documentation for details about which JDBC features are supported. The JDBC 2.0 Standard Extension API, which describes advanced features, many of which offer improved database performance, is supported.

How does API interact with database

APIs can be divided based on their architecture, or how they’re constructed. Let’s look at two of the most common types of API architecture. If you already know how to use an API and are looking for tools manage them, check out this list of the top API management tools.

Filtering Records by Condition

Description – You can enter a text description of the JDBC resource. You can change the Transaction Isolation settings listed in the following table. If checked, closes all connections in the pool if a single validation check fails. You can change the Connection Validation settings listed in the following table. Specifies the number of connections to be destroyed if the existing number of connections is above the Steady Pool Size . This is enforced periodically at the Idle Timeout interval.

To help you avoid these common issues, I have outlined 5 tips that will help you when building your next REST API around your backend database. Instance to be configured to connect to a database and retrieve a set of rows. Servlets are at the heart of a Sun ONE Application Server application. They stand between a client interface, such as an HTML or JSP™ page (a page created with the JavaServer Pages™ technology), and the EJB components that do the bulk of an application’s work.

The “on the other hand” requires you to expose your database to the big bad world. Software Engineering Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for professionals, academics, and students working within the systems development life cycle. Let’s return to the example of the book distributing company. Of course, there’s nothing stopping you from modifying the script logic to iterate over an array of returned records.

The main advantage of using HTTP is the possibility of using Caching. If you make your results cacheable, then there are less requests to be made to the DB. If you’re worried about speed you could look into caching the data in memory so that the database doesn’t need to be touched to handle the request. Introducing a REST service if it’s not required will slow the execution down as the system is doing more. Maybe a third party uses a public API to develop an app that lets people buy books directly from the distributor, instead of from a store.

Types of APIs

REST APIsIf you’ve heard people talk about JSON , chances are they’re talking about REST APIs. Over 70% of all public APIs use REST, because of its fast performance, reliability, and ability to scale by reusing modular components without affecting the system as a whole. It’s important to note that while web APIs are the most common, APIs aren’t limited to the web. There are APIs for virtually every machine or system that expects to interact with other machines or systems.

An API specification defines these calls, meaning that it explains how to use or implement them. Remote APIs define standards of interaction for applications running on different machines. In other words, one software product accesses resources located outside the device that requests them, which explains the name.

How does API interact with database

The end user doesn’t need to know how the APIs work, just how to navigate the user interface to perform the tasks she needs to perform. In case the application is unable to get the next reader chunk using the “getchunk” command within 30 seconds, the reader will expire itself and you will have to re-query to get the result. This expiration timeout, however, is configurable through the web.config file of the REST API package.

For PersonSchema, the model is Person, and sqla_session is db.session. This is how Marshmallow finds attributes in the Person class and learns the types of those attributes so it knows how to serialize and deserialize them. Because SQLAlchemy returns data as Python class instances, Connexion can’t serialize these class instances to JSON-formatted data. If you were to use local time zones as your timestamp source, then you couldn’t perform date and time calculations without information about a local time zone’s offset from zero time. Without the timestamp source information, you couldn’t do any date and time comparisons or any math at all.

API documentation

Since it is a SOAP API, it uses XML as the data exchange format, and HTTP or HTTPS protocols for requests. Commercial API users pay subscription fees or use APIs on a pay-as-you-go basis. A popular approach among publishers is to offer free trials, so users can evaluate APIs before purchasing subscriptions.

  • We want to read from the database, insert into it, update and delete records — in the simplest way possible.
  • If you’re in the music industry, you may want to use the Spotify Web APIs to add music player functionalities to your website or application.
  • Use words like nouns that represent the resource’s contents in the API, for example “api/stationery/pens”.
  • Caching, database abstraction etc. could be handled at the data access layer in the same application.
  • Since we already discussed the POST verb earlier, let’s insert a JSON document into our NosDB database using POST.
  • It provides integration, acceleration, governance, and security for Web API and SOA-based systems.

While using an API may seem like unnecessary added work, they are meant to improve information security and the ease with which you can access the data you need to make well-informed business decisions. If you aren’t an IT professional, the prospect of learning how to use an API can seem daunting at first. Wen you request data via an API endpoint, you would receive response strings in JSON objects, CSV tables or XML. There are other cloud services which allow you to connect API end points of different services with each other, like IFTTT and Zapier, but I’m not sure if they connect with open data. Go ahead and check out the Postman tool if you haven’t already, it’s an awesome piece of software that makes many aspects of working with APIs much easier. It helps you send test requests to APIs so you can experiment with the data you receive.

Use CData API Server to:

For Basic Auth, all you need to fill in is the set of credentials that contains the user name and password. For Bearer Token, it’s simply a unique string of characters that you should receive from the API provider. OAuth is more advanced – you can basically configure your own OAuth client’s credentials in a form. Once your table is built, you can use it to power an application such as a dashboard, spreadsheet, or an embedded table on your website. Then you can import the required libraries such as “requests” and “JSON”. In the example below, you can print out the status of the API before pulling the data.

API , is a software communication protocol that allows two applications to talk to each other. By exchanging data, one application would be able to access certain information from the other so certain tasks can be performed. When we pull our phone for weather data, a lot of data objects would hit your weather app from a server that stores all the weather information. Operating systems and middleware tools expose their features through collections of APIs usually called toolkits. Two different sets of tools that support the same API specifications are interchangeable to programmers and are the basis for compatibility and interoperability claims.

WordPress has a REST API that enables developers to create, read, and update WordPress content remotely by carrying JSON objects back and forth between clients and servers. Without the Google Maps API, developers at OpenTable would have to dedicate their time and resources to drawing their own map and providing real-time map data to include this feature on its site. Worse still, no matter how much time they put in, it would be nearly impossible to make it as detailed or reliable as Google’s existing solution. So, instead of wasting their time trying to reinvent the wheel, APIs enable developers to focus on creating new tools and functionality that deliver more value to their users. REST, or “representational state transfer,” is a type of software design that gives access to data (aka “web resources”) by using a uniform and predefined set of operations. The payload – the data to be delivered – defined in the request itself, will be formatted in a language such as HTML, JSON, or XML.

Selecting Specific Fields

While abbreviations and naming conventions are not all bad, these implementation details will leak into your API. Instead, choose clear resource names that map to these tables. This will make it easier for developers to understand and allow implementation database and API integration details to change without impacting other developers or requiring time to push out mobile app updates. In some situations, accessing a database directly from a servlet can offer a speed advantage over accessing a database from EJB components.

Rather than using .all(), you use the .one_or_none() method to get one person, or return None if no match is found. The read_one() function receives an lname parameter from the REST URL path, indicating that the user is looking for a specific person. You remove the datetime import, the get_timestamp() function, and the PEOPLE dictionary. In exchange, you add objects from config and models that you’ll use from now on.

These APIs are well documented for both consumption and versioning in the process. Because APIs are more standardized, they can be monitored and managed for both performance and scale. And, most importantly, they have a much stronger discipline for security and governance.

Some examples include Twilio , Stripe , and Sendgrid , which offer a “Platform as a Service” model. Such companies enable developers to build applications on their platform, which might perform functions such as hosting web servers or communication applications. Both of these verticals have grown tremendously, fueled by the extensibility and ease of use of APIs.

Since these are universal data structures, the format can be used with any programming language. Each endpoint is also assigned a list of actions the client can request of the server. So, a plural endpoint may be for listing or creating resources, and the singular endpoint may be for retrieving, updating, and canceling a specific resource. The client would have to include the correct HTTP verb in its request to tell the server what action to take. Ultimately, this will improve the usage and adoption of your main platform.

Then, templates can be used to generate natural language from the mined data. API documentation can be enriched with metadata information like Java annotations. This metadata can be used by the compiler, tools, and by the run-time environment to implement custom behaviors or custom handling. API documentation describes the services an API offers and how to use those services, aiming to cover everything a client would need to know for practical purposes. An important factor when an API becomes public is its “interface stability”. Changes to the API—for example adding new parameters to a function call—could break compatibility with the clients that depend on that API.