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Getting Started

This page will introduce the key concepts of API Creator.  As recommended in the product Welcome Screen, you should first
  • Explore the Welcome Page for suggestions on Getting Started, and Architectural Overview
  • Perhaps view the Getting Started Videos
  • Take the Tour (it starts automatically), which creates your first API from Northwind
This page shows how to use the Samples to see the key concepts.  Additional training resources are located here, and under the Training menu in the Navigation Bar to the left.

API Creation

The Tour will use Northwind to illustrate how to create APIs, with Default Resources for each table, view and stored procedure.  

If you wish, you can change the API Style (disable Short Menus, API Properties > Settings > Default Response Format.

REST Lab

API Creation invokes the REST Lab to confirm your API is operational.  Use it to query and update data.  Explore its services for filter, sort etc.

Observe pagination of large results, and optimistic locking.

Swagger Documentation

Note the the REST Lab provides a tab to view automatically created Swagger documentation.  Note you can use Swagger-based tools to create client code (SDKs) to make RESTful data easy to consume in your application (e.g., Java POJOs, or .NET POCOs).

Custom Resources

The Tour will also show how to create Custom Resources.  Observe there was no code generation, deployment, etc.

Switch to the Demo API, and explore the CustomerBusinessObject.  Run it in the REST Lab.

Free SQL resource types

While SQL is ordinarily automated, you can provide your own SQL when necessary using Free SQL Resource Type.  In the Demo API, select Resources > PurchaseOrdersFreeSQL.  Disable Short Menus to view the Details tab, which contains custom SQL.

JavaScript resource types

You can also materialize resource responses with JavaScript Resource Type.  Explore Demo API, Resourc CustomerJSOrdersRest.  Select the sub resource (OrdersRest), and view the JavaScript in the the Details pane.

HTTP Handlers

You can create ad hoc end points using HTTP Handlers.  Click HTTP Handlers, and Add one - it will create a sample.  Such resource do not not enforce security.



Integrate

APIs can integrate databases into a single API, and inter-operate with other systems.

Multiple Data Sources: SQL

Explore Resources > MDBDemoCustomers.  Customers come from Demo, Orders from Sample.  Note these could be different database types.

Multiple Data Sources: NoSQL

Explore Resources > CustomerJoinMongoPurchaseOrder (requires external connectivity to run).

Systems Integration

Switch to the Sample Database.  Explore this as described here.


Data Explorer

Switch to the Demo API.  Experiment with filtering, sorting, updates, Lookups, etc.  Customize with Author Mode.


Configure

Business Logic

Ensure database integrity with a combination of JavaScript and Declarative Reactive Rules.

JavaScript

Click Rules > Event: Audit Purchase Order ...  This is built with server-side JavaScript.  Key points:
  1. Your object model is created for you, as used in the first line (row.amount_total != oldRow.amount_total)
  2. Your JavaScript code can call your own loadable Java/JavaScript libraries (Disable Short Menus > API Properties > Libraries)
  3. Contextual variables are passed to you as described here
  4. Build code using the Expression Help

Declarative Reactive Rules

You can save significant time by using Rules.  Explore them in the Rules Navigation item.

Click the Topics tab.  Topics are defined in Disable Short Menus > API Properties > Topics.  Topics can include rich text links (e.g., to a Requirements Management system), etc.

Security

You assign pluggable Authentication in API Properties > Details.

Explore Security > Sales Rep to see Resource access.  Explore Permissions to see row / column level security.  Note the use of the @{current_employee_row.employee_id}, defined on the Globals tab.

Dev


Debugging

Use Data Explorer (or REST Lab) to alter a Lineitem quantity, and examine the Logs to observe the effect on related objects.  The log shows every SQL, and every rule.


Export

You can create versions of your API by Exporting them - Disable Short Menus > API Properties > Export.  You can Import them on the Home page; don't forget to update their settings.  This is a good way to move APIs from dev to pre-production to production, source control them, etc.


Create your own API

Once you have completed the steps above, get started by creating a API, which contains your Resources, Logic and Security.  Your first step will be to connect to a database.  The database can be:
  • an existing database, in the cloud or on-premise, or

  • a new database you create using your existing tools and procedures, or the new database API Creator creates automatically