API’s can be tricky, I get it. I am just starting to wrap my brain around the WordPress API, knowledge of which I will then devote to understanding other API’s. It’s a time-consuming process, however, and it seems like new API’s are rolling out every day! How do you keep up?
The solution I just found is to ask the Postman 🙂 Postman is a method of testing RESTful API’s. Lets dive right in!
REST stands for Representation State Transfer as described by Roy Fielding in his Doctoral Thesis from 2003. RESTful is really a series of constraints that system must abide by in order to be considered RESTful.
Believe in the Postman
You can start at Postman’s website and download either the desktop client program or the app for Google Chrome. Usage of Postman is beyond the scope of this article, but I recommend playing around and trying to figure things out for yourself!
Additionally, take special note of the tests option when trying to semi-automate your API tests, as placing these tests in collections will allow you to run a group of tests at once and evaluate the server responses for each test after the conclusion.
Build A Better API
As I have learned, most API’s are simple JSON or XML API’s, not actual RESTful API’s because they do not instruct the client as to how to work with the API. As I understand it, the API is usually not exposed to the client, only the interface, so most engineers don’t bother building out the API when the interface will constrain the interactions anyway. The only thing that matters is storing the data and accessing it quickly and efficiently.
Postman helps understand the data structure and develop calls and subroutines to effectively move data around your application. Use Postman to test your custom API or explore 3rd-party API’s. It’ll be a fun intellectual challenge 🙂