Tutorial: HTTP API Overview


This video describes the HTTP API. Cloudant employs an HTTP API, or RESTful
Web service API. The Cloudant HTTP API follows this
hierarchical model: Account – Database –
Document – Attachment So, a URL for the Cloudant API is made up of
an account name, the database within that
account, and the endpoints to manipulate data within that database. This example
references the ablanks account, the
employee_directory database, and for all documents in the database, show
the document body. You could use this programmatically to
populate a web page that shows all
employees. Using a relational database, you would read
and write data using a SQL command
prompt. Since Cloudant is a NoSQL database, there
is no SQL and no SQL command prompt, it
leverages the HTTP API. It looks and feels more like you are interacting
with a Web service than directly with a
database. You make HTTP requests using these verbs:
GET – PUT – POST – DELETE – COPY Typically, when you access the data from a
browser, you are performing a GET; however, you can use browser add-on tools
or a command line tool to PUT, POST,
DELETE, or COPY data. When using a pure HTTP API that speaks
JSON, like Cloudant, it doesn’t require any
proprietary drivers. To build a Java application with other
databases, you need a specific JDBC driver
for that database product. Every modern programming language
speaks HTTP, so you can write your
application using open source or standard HTTP and JSON libraries and don’t need
anything proprietary to use Cloudant. Cloudant also offers client libraries as tools
to help you develop your own applications to
work with Cloudant databases. Here’s what and HTTP API command looks
like. The first part indicates that this is an
HTTP request. Next, include a verb such as GET or PUT. You
can include headers, data that you are
passing, then the URI and any parameters. This cURL example executes a GET, passes
the user credentials, and includes the base
URI to access. Cloudant is built on top of Apache
CouchDB™. The API is almost entirely
compatible with the CouchDB API. So if you have been using CouchDB, you can
easily port your data over to Cloudant and
continue working the same way. Cloudant’s authentication model is slightly
different, and offers additional features such
as clustering, search, GeoSpatial, and so on. Visit the Cloudant Learning Center at
ibm.biz/cloudant-learning.

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