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Chuck Keith
Nugget trainer since 2017
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Using REST APIs and JSON FAQs: Cost, Training, Value

What is an API and what is it used for?

API stands for Application Programming Interface and it refers to different technical methods for enabling software to communicate with other software. Applications aren't 'smart' – they can't look at a bunch of data and just figure out what it means and what to do with it. APIs explain to developers how to access certain functionality or data in a program so that their own apps can use that data or functionality.

What is a REST API and what is it used for?

A REST API is a specific type of API that follows principles of a certain programming architecture called REST or Representational State Transfer. APIs in general provide a way for different software components to interact. REST APIs specifically adhere to a set of design principles that makes them stateless, scalable, and easy to use over the internet. So, all REST APIs are APIs, but not all APIs are REST APIs.

What is JSON and what does it have to do with REST APIs?

JSON stands for JavaScript Object Notation. JSON is a simple and readable data format used for organizing and exchanging information. It's a universal language that makes data easy for both humans and computers to understand. JSON is often used as the data format between REST APIs. So requests to a REST API often come back in JSON, which makes it easier for apps to easily put the received data to use.

Do all REST APIs have to use JSON? How do they work?

No, not all REST APIs have to use JSON, but it's the most widely adopted and convenient choice. This course focuses on JSON and its popularity, simplicity and readability. JSON makes it easy for humans and computers both to understand the information coming back from requests and interactions. REST is very flexible, so there are alternative formats, and learning JSON for REST APIs doesn't restrict you in the future.

Who is this REST APIs and JSON course worth it for?

This course is great for web developers, software engineers, and anyone else who happens to be involved in building and connecting online applications. If you need to understand how systems communicate over the internet to exchange data efficiently, this course will be extremely beneficial for you. A technical background will be helpful for this course, but it emphasizes practical, real-world skills with creating and using APIs and understanding JSON.
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