API in EasyCargo (part 1)
While browsing our website you might have come across the term API. This abbreviation is closely related to the IT industry, so you may not fully understand what this service is all about and what benefits you can get from it. In this article, we will discuss what an API is and how it works. Did you know that it could help you to extend the functionality of your company’s software, for example?
We decided to create a three-part mini-series about an API. Today’s article is all about theory. The second part is going to be more practical. We will show you how to use the API to EasyCargo, among other things using our API client. You will see for yourself that appropriate queries to the EasyCargo programming interface result in the requested data. In the last part of the series, we will discuss what communication through the API with EasyCargo makes possible.
The diagram above shows the role of the API in a very simple way. However, it is worth answering the question beforehand – what is an API anyway? The extension of the shortcut is the application programming interface. There are different types of APIs – we have a REST API, the meaning of which should not matter much to you.
An application programming interface is a specific set of solutions that allows you to use the data of another service on your own website or software. What does it mean? If your company has an internal service for handling e.g. transport, you can download data from your account in EasyCargo, which will then be delivered directly to the company software.
However, to communicate with EasyCargo or other software via API, you still need a so-called API key. Key allows us to identify your site when it interacts with EasyCargo. If you would like to obtain it, please contact us using our contact form. Once the key is generated, you can find it under your user profile in the top right corner by clicking on the Show API Key button.
Note: handle your API key as you would your account password – don’t tell it to anyone.
With the most important information about APIs behind us, we can finally move on to explaining the role of the application programming interface. We created a simple table with technical steps to which we added simple, practical explanations.
We think that by this part of the article you have already understood the idea of how the API works. You can find the EasyCargo application programming interface at this link. We still want to draw your attention to the fact that all the query examples in the API documentation are written using HTTP. We recommend using the more secure HTTPS protocol.