API Exploration

It is not always easy to get up and running using a new API. As a developer you face all kinds of challenges before integration, like finding and making sense of documentation and authentication and setting up code samples.

Sometimes it can take several attempts before you are actually able to understand how an API operates and begin using it. And often times this can mean not adopting an API at all, because you just don't have the time to spend learning about it. Apigee released an API console last week that allows you to easily explore eight top APIs:

  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Foursquare
  • LinkedIn
  • SimpleGeo
  • Paypal
  • Soundcloud
  • Twilio
Using the console you can select an API for exploration. It then lists the services and endpoints for that web service in a left hand tree-view menu.

You can authenticate using OAuth and select an API method which displays the URL in the explorer address bar, then you select GET, POST, PUT, or DELETE.

You can then test the web service and see the resulting API request and response. The Apigee Console allows you to explore an API with almost no effort or coding.

This type of exploration is critical in understanding how an API works and helps you brainstorm ways you can integrate it with your application. I see the Apigee Console reducing API integration time and ultimately resulting in more API adoption.