Intro to APIs
Emily Chao(elchao2), Berwin Xie(bxie6)
What is an API?
- Application Programming Interface
- Allows developers to integrate already-existing features into their application
- Saves time, energy, allows for cool data analysis, etc.
- Most often provided by companies or open-source communities
- Account creation, login, authentication (i.e. Google Login)
- Social media posting capability (i.e. Tweet, Follow, Like)
- Accessing data from different services (i.e. CUMTD, Weather.com)
- Manipulate different data points between applications (i.e. Google Apps Script)
- Incorporating other features (i.e. Google Maps)
Visual Components and Data Request Endpoints
How to gain access to an API
- OAuth tokens
- Register for API key through developer console
- Maybe it's just an open API! Hooray!
- Let's use JSFiddle
- Tutorial based on CUMTD API
- Challenge: Use the Open Movie Database API to create a search engine for movies
Ethics of using an API
- Maintaining APIs is expensive
- Many companies will rate-limit requests
- For smaller or more open APIs, be aware of server downtime and other developers using the API - don't send too many requests!
- Different cost models - # requests / day for free tier, capacity costs, etc.