At a simple level, if you can type a URL into a browser, you can make an API call with APIContext. In fact, there’s a lot in common between what happens when you make an API call and when you go to a webpage – APIs are involved in both, as are the same protocols.
But here, we’re going to walk through the basic steps here for making a call to one of our HTTPbin servers which will get the IP address of the place you’re making the call from. Don’t know what an IP address is? That’s fine, it’s like a phone number for the internet.
The only difference between this and your APIs is likely to be security, so if try to adapt this to your own API but get an error like a WARNING 4XX error, then you should read about making secure API calls. If that doesn’t help, then contact us and we’ll be happy to help you get started.
Step 1: Click on “Add API Call”
In the side menu or at the top of the screen you’ll see “Add API Call” – just click on that and we’re off to the races.
This will bring up step 2, the call editing window.
Step 2: “Enter the URI”
When the edit screen appears we’re going to want to enter the URI of the call we are going to be making. We’re using the HTTPbin server as our test which gives us a bunch of fun features to play with, but for the first one we’re going to ask for the IP address of the agent that will make the API call.
Remember, these are REAL API calls from outside your firewall from real application servers in the cloud to your APIs. If you’re not able to reach the API call then you won’t be able to get this working with your APIs yet. But you shouldn’t go public without being 100% sure your APIs work flawlessly from outside the firewall.
We’ve give the call a name so we remember it and we’ve used the reference location of the APImetrics HTTPbin servers “http://google.apimetrics.xyz” after that just add “ip” and save the call.
You’re now ready to make an API call.
Step 3: “Run the API call”
You’re now ready to run the API call – you can select “Run” and it will be sent to our default server in Iowa, or you can click the arrow and pick any of the 70+ locations around the world we operate in.
For this test, we’re picking AWS Tokyo.
Step 4: Read the Result
Assuming everything worked, you should now have a result screen to look at.
There are 4 key things here to see:
- The response code and assertions set. We got a HTTP 200 OK! and we have the overall latency and the timing for the call.
- A breakdown of the timings of each step – DNS lookup, connect time, upload, processing and download which all come to 16ms
- A graphical view of the breakdown
- Benchmarking the steps of the call against other similar calls in our database – if it’s green, it’s good; yellow means the time taken puts the call in the 90th percentile of responses, i.e., the worst 10%; red means the worst 1% of all calls
If you look further you’ll see the call made, the header received and the actual body.
APIContext will store these results for you for as long as you’re a customer so you will always have an audit trail of results.
Step 5: There is no step 5!
You’ve made a real, functional API call to the outside world, congratulations!
You might want to try with your own APIs or schedule this API and see how it performs!
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