Help Finding "Correct" URL's for API Explorer


#1

I think the new API explorer is great - and I know that I need to learn a lot more about API’s now to make this work.

So far I’ve been having trouble finding the correct URL to paste into the API explorer. It seems every one I’ve tried is invalid. I’ve been looking through the Programmable Web, which seems like a neat tool: https://www.programmableweb.com/apis/directory

But I’m not exactly sure what to look for - these URL’s don’t seem to have a big orange button like RSS feeds do, lol. (the Intuiface documentation for API explorer is great, but it seems to gloss over this step)

For our programmer friends out there, is there a simple way of helping to explain a general process or rules to follow that will help us find the correct API url to use? Or if it varies by API, are there any walk-through’s you can post to help give some direction? Thanks VERY much!


Google Calendar and API Explorer
#2

@AlexB I suggest you watch this video to help you understand what an API is and understanding the functionality of an API.

and

Kind Regards

Louie


#3

You are not alone @AlexB :slight_smile:


#4

Thanks Louie. The videos do help a little. I think the main difficulty is that some softwares seem to bury our needed URL within the API documentation. If there’s a standard section within the API info that we should find the right URL, that would help.

For example, let’s look at Twitter. The developer documentation is here for REST: https://dev.twitter.com/rest/public

Within the pages, it seems difficult to find what we need. So my question is more directed towards navigating the written documentation a little easier. Thanks again!


#5

Yes, the problem is that though IntuiFace is democratizing the ability to interact with REST-based Web Services, the documentation for these services does not have the same motivation. :slight_smile: They’re written by and for developers. The results can be helpful - for example. this page on the Twitter API docs site really tries to simplify things - while others are so poorly written that even developers would get tripped up.

Obviously, we can’t solve the problem of bad documentation; it’s out of our hands. What we can do is be more proactive about helping people figure out how to write a query for a given service. To that end, in just a day or two we’ll enhance API Explorer so that badly formatted URLs will cause a window to appear containing the means for contacting Support directly for assistance.

Generally speaking, our Support team will help you figure things out. And, hopefully, through this assistance you’ll improve your own skills.

So don’t be shy about opening a ticket with the Support team or here in the Community when you’re struggling to build a proper request URL.


#6

Great, thanks Geoff. That will help a lot, and I will most likely open a ticket soon. I don’t think this stuff looks too difficult, it just comes down to knowing what to look for. I’m sure seeing some examples in the future will help get people up to speed.


#7

Hi guys!

We wrote an article that should help to find these “correct URLs” to use with the API Explorer. It’s called: Beginners Guide to Web Service APIs

Hope this will contribute in demystifying the world of APIs :slight_smile:


#8

The article helps a lot, thanks Seb! It’s much clearer now, and I’m starting to understand it. However, I’m having a little trouble figuring out:

  • The difference between parameter types, and what they are used for; Query/Header/Collection Pagination…
  • Authentication - I understand getting a token/api key, etc. However, this seems to change a little depending on the API. For example, I’d really like to pull events from a Google Calendar. But there seems to be some steps that I’m missing in the url and in my online account to allow access. I’m getting authentication or call limit exceeded errors. Google’s developer account asks for other types of information about ‘what’ will connect to it, and that’s where I’m getting stuck.
    clarification I only need to pull events from a public calendar, not someone’s personal calendar. So a regular api key should be all I need, I just need to know the proper place to put it.

#9

Checking back, I got it to work! Turns out I accidentally had the key parameter set as a header parameter. So I still need to learn more. But I’ve been able to successfully pull a list of events from a public calendar and use the different parameters to sort/limit the results. Kinda feel like young Spider Man discovering he can shoot webs out of his hands.


#10

That’s great news Alex !

Could you share with us a sample request for works with a public Google Calendar, with anonymous information instead of your keys of course? I’m pretty sure we have lots of users interested in this service :slight_smile:


#11

Absolutely! I’ve recorded a video you can watch here: https://youtu.be/3mcbtLZfAbA

It’s off the cuff, so don’t expect any amazing production lol. But it should get the point across.


#12

Hi Alex, thanks for the video, it helped me get 95% there… Do you know if it’s possible to pull attachments (jpgs) in from Google’s calendar API?


#13

Met’s tag @AlexB in your question to make sure he gets a notification for that :slight_smile:


#14

Hi @carson , I don’t remember seeing anything for attachments in the API…but it’s been a while since I’ve been in there. I may not have time to play around with it for a while - but if you find anything, post here to let us know!