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3rd party debugging for API’s – APIgee

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26 August 2010

I’ve always had the idea that a lot can be gained from a service acting as a mediator between browsers and API’s like the Facebook API and Twitter API. I started rolling my own at a point, but a lack of spare time caused the only usable part of the project to be the connection libraries I wrote for the most used API’s.

In steps APIgee.


To get started with APIgee is simple (and free, up to 50000 requests per hour):

  • Create an account on their website. This account has it’s own subdomain, ie http://raak.apigee.com
  • Define each API connection you want to use (roughly, one per application name per API). This gets a subdomain on your account’s subdomain, ie http://twitter.raak.apigee.com
  • Instead of issuing calls to Facebook and Twitter’s RESTful API’s, issue calls to the API path in APIgee. So, in stead of calling
    http://api.twitter.com/1/statuses/public_timeline.json?include_entities=true, you call http://twitter.raak.apigee.com/1/statuses/public_timeline

So, what does APIgee provide, for your effort?

  • API Testing:
    This is quite handy as a quick reference of all the calls available in the Facebook and Twitter API’s, as well as a test console in which you can quickly test drive calls, and see exactly what each call returns. This is available without registering, for both the Facebook and Twitter API’s. Try it out – it’s fun!
  • API Debugging:
    Here you’re presented with a simple record button. It literally records all calls that pass through an API connection in your APIgee account, and presents you with the header and content of each request/response pair. This is not only handy for debugging, but also a good reference of what you are actually getting back from the server, without having to print everything out to the screen first.
  • API Stats:
    APIgee keeps stats on all aspects of usage of each API connection, from API specific stats like tweets and retweets, to global stats like response time, data volume and error rate.

When we start thinking blue sky, a service like this could do well to add parsing, filtering and aggregation tools. Combined with something like Yahoo Pipes APIgee could make the jump from a useful service to a great service.

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