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Basics of APIs: HTTPs and REST APIs

You might have asked yourself this question before. What’s an API? 

The term stands for Application Programming Interface and in the simplest terms, is a way for programs to communicate with each other. 

You use APIs every day without even realizing it. APIs build the bridge between different applications and allow them to exchange data. Let’s use a common analogy to try and understand what APIs are:

Imagine you go to a restaurant. You sit down at a table, order food from the kitchen, the chef prepares the food precisely as you ordered and it arrives back at your table. All of this happens without you ever having to communicate with the chef! That’s all thanks to the waiter, who enables the exchange of information between the two parties. In our analogy, the waiter acts just like an API!

In our situation, the APIs will be the tool we use to enable our programs to communicate with the Meraki dashboard.
This concept will be at the center of everything we do in the coming days, so make sure you get well acquainted with the material in this video. If you feel like you could benefit from some additional information then there’s a lot of material out there that uses different methods to explain APIs. 

Follow along with today’s video as we go through some really basic API use with Curl. You can read up a bit about what curl is if you’d like to enhance your knowledge, but it won’t be crucial to this course or your usage with Meraki.

See you tomorrow!