Apigee Console for the RubyGems API

October 15, 2011

I had heard of apigee.com before but I had not looked at their services yet. Today I took a closer look and I discovered Apigee To-Go, a way to create a simple API console for any API (including your own). After creating such an API console, you can embed it elsewhere e.g. in your the developer section of your website.

In order to experiment with Apigee To-Go I needed a guinea pig. My choice fell on the RubyGems.org API. I have not configured the console to support all API calls of RubyGems. Instead the console below only supports the calls for which no authorization is needed. Adding authorization and the corresponding HTTP verbs (POST, PUT, DELETE) would not be that difficult though.

Console for the RubyGems.org API

How to create an Apigee To-Go Console

  1. register at apigee.com
  2. create a WADL file (with some additional apigee-specific extensions)
  3. upload this file to apigee
  4. apigee will automatically create the API Console
  5. Done!

I had the first console for just one API endpoint up and running after 5 minutes. After that it took a couple of trial and error iterations, until the console that you see above was done. apigee.com does a decent job in informing you about syntax errors in your WADL file, which helps you to fix them. (I should say though that I have worked with WADL before.)

Summary

Apigee To-Go is a pretty nice way for developers to get started, when trying to integrate with a new API. A couple of areas of Apigee To-Go could be improved but it is definitely good enough to be useable.

From a developer perspective such a console is mainly useful when trying to find out how an API works in general. For later stages of the development there is still no way around reading the full API documentation.

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