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Learn the basics of using REST APIs at the upcoming APIStrat conference.

APIs are becoming a very popular and are a must-know for every type of developer. But, what is an API? API stands for Application Programming Interface. It is a way to get one software application to talk to another software application. In this article, I’ll go over the basics of what they are and why to use them.

Nom Nom Nom! I happened to be snacking on chips while trying to think of a name for my REST API talk coming up at APIStrat in Portland. Similarly, the act of consuming or using a REST API means to eat it all up. In context, it means to eat it, swallow it, and digest it — leaving any others in the pile exposed. Sounds yummy, right?

It seems that every application out there is hungry for an API. Let’s look at Yelp for example. Yelp by itself won’t have the functionality you’d expect. In order to search nearby restaurants or locations, it needs to use an API for a map. It uses the Google API. With that, you can locate nearest places and get directions to the place. APIs allow you to integrate one tool into another tool to give it more functionality. Without the ability to make these types of integrations, you can say goodbye to a majority of all the apps out there that you use!

So why are APIs so important? Most companies today have several different software applications they need to use, including sales, accounting, CRM, a project management system, etc. To have the software all work together is increasingly important for financial reasons, which is also making work processes flow more easily. Companies can also create their own tools using other APIs to enhance their own software, making their customers happier and giving them the tools they need.

API Basics

Back in 2000, the very first API came from eBay. Since then, they have increased exponentially. In 2016, more than 50 million API requests have been made, and there are 30,000 available APIs out there. From 2015 to 2016, the number has doubled in growth from 15,000 to 30,000 APIs!

In my talk, I will be covering API basics, how to make API requests, how APIs are made, and much more.  I will show you how you can use POSTMAN to test making REST API calls, so that you will leave with the skills to make REST calls on any API. This talk is designed for any audience level. If you are brand new to programming, that’s fine. If you are an experienced programmer that currently uses APIs but want to go back into the basics to understand the breakdown of how APIs work, then that is fine, too!

If you want to learn more, be sure to check out my other talk at APIStrat:  “Chatbots are the Future: Let’s Build One!” In this talk, I will go over how to build a working Chatbot using the Cisco Spark API, which is a collaboration API for chat (messages), calling, and video. You don’t need to install or download anything to prepare. I will cover everything in the presentation, and it is designed for everyone to follow along. I guarantee you will have a working chatbot by the end of the presentation.

You can learn more at the upcoming APIStrat conference

 

The upcoming APIStrat conference – Oct. 31-Nov. 2 in Portland – features three days of technical sessions, keynotes, and workshops.

The API Strategy & Practice conference (APIStrat) – taking place Oct. 31 through Nov. 2 in Portland – features three days of technical sessions, keynotes, and more, including several workshops providing hands-on learning opportunities. These sessions cover topics such as RESTful API integration, OpenID Connect, API security, and REST API testing.

Check out the following workshops happening at APIStrat:

Connect Your RESTful API to Hundreds of Others in Minutes (Zapier and other Integration Platforms) – Sean Matthews, Left Hook Digital

In this workshop, the Left Hook team will show how to connect your app to hundreds of others on Zapier’s platform in a matter of minutes. We’ll walk you through a quick integration, and then talk about the pros and cons of 30+ different integration platforms out there, as well as highlighting platforms upon which developers can build out their own API connectors today.

Creating Communication Applications using the Asterisk RESTFul Interface (ARI) – Chris Howard, Digium

The Asterisk RESTFul Interface (ARI) is an asynchronous API that lets developers build communications applications by exposing the raw primitive objects in Asterisk – channels, bridges, endpoints, media, etc. This presentation will provide information on getting started using ARI and provide a working demonstration of using the ARI to create a telephone application.

From 0 to  000s – Starting and Growing your Developer Program – Caroline Lewko, WIP

Learn the basics of starting a developer program from segmentation and polishing your personas, along with the seven most important onboarding activities. We will also include some extra special super sensory developer experience techniques.   

How Mature are You? A Developer Experience Maturity Model – Jenny Wanger, Arity, founded by Allstate

At Arity, we developed a maturity model for API programs to help you focus your time and effort on the areas that will provide the greatest value for your customers. We’ll go through the model together so you can score your company’s program. You’ll leave the session with a score and roadmap of how this can help you influence your stakeholders.

OpenID Connect Done the Right Way – Vinay Bhalerao, Red Hat

With the rise of mobile applications, OpenID Connect adoption has increased in the API market and is the preferred choice in API security. This workshop will help people to understand the differences between OAuth, JWT, and openID Connect and when to use the respective flows.

OWASP’s Latest Category – API Underprotection – Skip Hovsmith, CriticalBlue

In this workshop, you’ll learn about potential threats resulting from undersecured web APIs. You should gain a good understanding of the underprotected API problem, learn practical tips to improve your API security posture, and gain a sense of emerging tools and technologies that enable a significant step change in API security.

Simplify and Scale Your Connections To Data – William Broza, BitScoop Labs

The BitScoop platform radically simplifies data integration and streamlines the data and services development process with unified access to APIs, microservices, and more. Learn how to unify all internal and external data in your ecosystem under one API or SDK using our powerful and feature-rich iPaaS.

Starting with GTK – Julita Inca, UNI

GTK is a toolkit to create GUIs based on C program language. Glib and clutter are other technologies involved with GTK, and in this workshop, we’ll look at interactions with databases that support Linux (Fedora 25), such as SQLite or PostgreSQL. We can achieve at least four forms with an interaction of a database to build a system to register people in an event.

Super-Powered REST API Testing – James Messinger, Postman

In this workshop, I’ll show you just how easy – and dare I say, fun – it can be to test REST APIs. Whether you prefer the command line, a text editor, or a GUI, there are tools that will fit nicely into your workflow. Plus, you’ll leave with sample code and a working demo to get you started.

See the full APIStrat schedule here and register now!