API Browser

What is an API?

API (Application Programming Interface) is defined as an interface or medium through which one software communicates with another. In other words, it is a set of contracts that allows different software systems to share information with each other. The greatest advantage of an API is that different programs and devices can communicate with each other in a secure manner, without interference.

APIs are messengers that conform to the technical contract between two parties. They are language and platform-independent, which means C# can talk to Java, and Unix can communicate with Mac without any difficulty. An API is not the same as a remote server. In fact, it is part of a remote server that receives requests and sends responses. More precisely, an API is a structured request and response.

API Browser in Astera

The API Browser in Astera has narrowed down the steps to make HTTP calls using just one-step authentication. Once you have imported an API in Astera, all endpoint operations in that API are populated at once. API definition describes what requests are available and what the responses will look like.

So, once you load an API definition, all supported methods are populated in the API Browser unlike Legacy, where all supported methods must be configured separately in each object.

There are two methods of configuring APIs in Astera. For open APIs, you only need to provide the API Import Source and File Path or Base URL to configure the connection with a specific API. Once this standardized information is provided, any API that you have imported will populate in the API Browser, along with their methods, for example, GET, PUT, POST, PATCH, and DELETE, and they will remain accessible until their authentication period expires. From the API Browser in Astera, you can simply drag and drop operations, and use them in your flows.

It is important to note that a project must be created before importing APIs to work with the API Browser. However, you can access the API without a project when it’s an API Connection contained in the flow.

The API Browser, along with all its features and functionalities, works only within the scope of a project. Otherwise, it will give you the following error,

When a user imports an API, a shared connection file is created within the project automatically. The shared action file contains the Base URL of the imported API.

HTTP Request Methods

Astera supports the following HTTP request methods:

  1. PUT: To update data to a specified resource to be processed on an API.

  2. GET: To retrieve data from a specified resource on an API.

  3. POST: To create or update an existing record on an API.

  4. DELETE: To delete a specified resource on an API.

  5. PATCH: To apply partial modifications to an existing resource.

Creating a Project for API Browser

To work with the API Browser in Astera, you must first create an API Client Project.

Follow the steps below to create an API Client Project in Astera,

  1. Go to Menu Bar > Project > New > API Client Project.

Provide a name to the API Client Project and point the path to the location and directory where you want to save it.

Note: It is best practice to always create a new project in a new folder to avoid any errors.

  1. Now, open the API Browser panel on your Astera client from Menu Bar > View > API Browser.

  1. Once selected, an API Browser panel will open on the left side of your Astera client window.

Here, you can see a couple of icons in the toolbar of the API Browser,

Import API: By clicking this option, you can import different APIs with various available options.

Remove API from Browser: This option removes the selected API from the API Browser.

Refresh API Tree: This option allows you to redraw the browser tree after you have deleted some operations.

Expand/Collapse all: These options show/hide all the requests in the CAPI file.

Add Request: This option allows you to add a new HTTP request to the CAPI file by specifying the request name, resource, and HTTP method.

Edit Properties: You can use this option to change the shared connection or the API name of the CAPI.

Open API Connection: This option allows you to directly open the shared API Connection from the project for the API opened in the API Browser.

Save CAPI file: Any changes made to the CAPI file are saved when you click on this option.

How to Import APIs in Astera

To import an API in Astera, click the Import API icon. An Import API screen will open.

Here, first, you need to select the API Import Source type from the drop-down menu. Astera offers three ways to import APIs.

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