How to call an API with Python

HOW TO CALL AN API WITH PYTHON

What’s an API?

API, which stands for “Application Programming Interface,” is an abbreviation. Using a set of definitions and protocols, APIs are techniques that let two software components interact with one another. For instance, the software system of the weather bureau contains daily weather information. Your phone’s weather app “talks” to this system via APIs to provide you with daily weather updates. An API is like a restaurant menu. You can order from a list of foods on the menu and the restaurant’s kitchen prepares your requested menu items and delivers some finished dishes to you. You don’t actually know the particular method the restaurant uses to cook that cuisine. A similar collection of operations, together with an explanation of what each one does, may be found in an API. The developer does not need to understand, for instance, how an operating system constructs and displays a “Save As” dialog box. They only need to be aware that it may be used in their app.

This isn’t a great analogy because developers would need to give their own data to the API in order to obtain the results; perhaps a better comparison would be a posh restaurant where you can bring your own ingredients for the cook to use. But it’s generally true. APIs enable developers to save time by utilizing a platform’s implementation to handle the minute details. As a result, less code needs to be written by developers, and programs for the same platform are more consistently designed. APIs can restrict access to hardware and software resources.

Tehe First API

Online trading and information sharing were brand-new and flourishing between 2000 and 2002. Salesforce, eBay, and Amazon all recognized a chance to increase their influence by making their information more accessible and sharing than before. Many people agree that Salesforce introduced the first modern API in 2000. At about the same time, Amazon and eBay created APIs that provided access to developers. With these breakthroughs, commerce and data exchange became for the first time freely available for a variety of adaptable purposes. This period also saw the publication of computer scientist Roy Fielding’s dissertation in 2000, which established the idea of “REST,” a software architectural style. The idea was to standardize software architecture over the internet and make it easier for components to interact with one another.

Brief history of APIs

Between 2004 and 2006, the use cases for APIs start to go beyond the bare minimum of e-commerce and information exchange. We began to notice the beginnings of a highly linked world emerge throughout this two-year period. As a location to save and organize digital images online, Flickr was introduced in 2004. Users could share their photographs across platforms thanks to their capability, which featured an API that allowed developers to add photo sharing in new products and services. Facebook, which had been operational since 2004, introduced an API in 2006 that provided programmers access to a vast array of user data, including images, profiles, friend lists, and events.

Concerns over privacy and security unavoidably arise with greater connectivity and global data exchange. The General Data Protection Regulation, the first comprehensive regulation addressing the new frontier of the use and sharing of personal information, was approved in 2018. (GDPR). This European rule signaled a shift in mindset for me regarding interconnectedness on a global scale. For businesses utilizing APIs, the GDPR introduced a further difficulty because they would have to submit records of personal information exchange upon request.

Advantages of APISs.

  • Personalized Content: Thanks to API, businesses may clearly grasp the interests and tastes of their customers. Due to enhanced consumer interactions and individualized recommendations, firms may now do so.
  • Automation: Manual inferences and interpretations are no longer necessary. API takes care of everything for you, managing every workflow and enhancing the effectiveness and productivity of business operations.
  • Fraud Prevention: Depending on the type of API you use, there are several layers of security that make sure that only authorized individuals can access the data created using API.
  • Improved Competency: API is quick to intercept and analyses the information that is passed between systems. Due to the automatic availability of information across all platforms, at this level of efficiency, decisions may be made more quickly and effectively.
  • Adaptability: API is able to foresee changes in the demands that will inevitably develop throughout the course of business. It increased the flexibility of the service offerings by using the technologies at its disposal to more thoroughly examine the data already existent in the system.

Types of APIs: REST, soap, etc.

There are four common types of APIs used in web applications that each have different ways of delivering business outputs.

  • Public APIs that provide application sharing and are accessible to any outside developer or company. The owner of these sorts of APIs can monetize them such that companies wishing to connect to the API pay a fee each call.
  • Partner APIs that are available to particular third-party business partners for usage by API users or developers in business-to-business transactions, such as the exchange of customer data via CRM, for instance. Usually, partners receive payment for their work, which benefits both parties.
  • Composite APIs combine two or more APIs to execute related tasks more quickly and effectively than a single API.
  • Internal APIs are used by the corporation to link systems and data internally.

Examples of popular APIs

Whether you are aware of it or not, API samples are all around you. This is so that various software may cooperate with one another. APIs are the main infrastructure for software. Examples of these APIs include;

  • Twitter Bots; if you use Twitter frequently, you’ve definitely seen a bot at some point or another. Many Twitter bots use the Twitter API to carry out automated operations.
  • Log-In Using XYZ; Okay, so it’s likely that you don’t have an account on any “XYZ” site. Not to worry. In reality, the concept is that you now have the choice to forgo managing a separate account with its own data when signing up for or logging into almost any online site.
  • Weather Snippets; ever look up the weather on Google? A pop-up weather snippet probably appeared front and center on your Google search page as a result of an effective search input. Many smartphone users utilize this standard Google function daily, if not multiple times daily. Additionally, it’s a benefit that many people take for granted.
  • Maps on Google; Users have access to almost endless geographic knowledge thanks to the Google Maps API. Look up neighboring eateries, specialty stores, and anything else that is reasonably close to your area.

How to call an API with Python

Requests library

Requests is the most widely used and approachable package for creating Python API requests. It provides an interface for synchronous HTTP requests. Let’s go straight into some typical request categories that you may use with Requests. All of the examples that follow will be presuming that Requests are a part of your project.

import requests
response = requests.get('https://google.com/')
print(response)
>> <Response [200]>

Common Methods: GET and POST

The Python requests module function is to retrieve data from a web URL through the GET method. In the example below, we use the get function to contact our own website and obtain a variety of replies. We also obtain the header and a portion of the content, along with the encoding and response time. The POST method transmits data to the server, typically through a form, for the creation or update of server-side data. The post method, which uses the URL and the value of the data parameter, is provided by the requests module and allows us to submit data directly.

import requests
in_values = {'username':'Jack','password':'Hello'}
res = requests.post('https://httpbin.org/post',data = in_values)
print(res.text)

Parameters

It may be used as a general-purpose single parameter to contain all query-parameters with their arbitrary names and values. Similar to what is now needed for the URL or web-API resource being called.

JSON response

For convenience of additional processing, JSON format is frequently used in REST API response responses. There is a handy request library. JSON to a Python object using the json() function in this situation.

import json 
# create a formatted string of the Python JSON object  
def jprint(obj):      
    text = json.dumps(obj, sort_keys=True, indent=4)    
    print(text) jprint(response.json())

 

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