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Getting Started

Live API Creator is designed to save time and simplify the creation and execution of database-oriented APIs. The main components of API Creator are shown in the diagram to the right:
  • Two client apps, accessed from your browser:

    • Use the API Creator to specify your API, your logic (rules, JavaScript), database location and your security settings. 

    • Use the Data Explorer to test your API, and for back-office data maintenance.

  • The API Server stores these settings in the Admin Database, and enforces them in the course of processing REST retrieval/update requests. Typical clients are Web/Mobile Apps, or other systems. API Server operates as a war file, and can be deployed into standard containers on-premise or in the cloud.

  • Use the Admin Database (MySQL or Derby/JavaDB) to store your API definitions, logic, security settings, etc. It is transparent for Cloud/appliance users, and must be configured for WAR users. This database is accessed via Live API Creator's REST API. 
    • You can export admin contents into a file for maintenance in a source control system.  
    • You can script the creation of APIs into an API server using the Admin command-line interface (CLI).

  • Identity Management - In typical deployments, API Creator calls out to your security system (Active Directory, LDAP, OAuth) for authentication.

Training Guide

API Creator is designed to get you up and running fast, yet provide the depth to deploy Enterprise-class APIs.  We recommend the following training program, provided by the web-based resources described below.

LevelNotesResourcesCertified By
BasicConnect database, build multi-table API, use API
  • Videos (also available from the API Creator Welcome page)
  • Quick Ref - A valuable set of links to key topics. It also serves as a checklist of key concepts.
  • Watch videos
  • Complete Start-up Tour ("graduation cap" pop-ups in software)
  • Take the Welcome Tour
IntermediateAPIs, Logic, Integration, OperationsB2B Advanced Sample
 
Logic Demo

Understand the Architecture

API Usage Examples: 
FullUse All Design Patterns
 
Comfortable using Javascript for events, formulas, and validations
Logic Tutorial

Logic Patterns
  • Build Logic Sample DB
AdvancedBuild new Rule Types
Build Security Provider
Extensibility 

We anticipate most folks with a moderate database background can achieve 
  • Intermediate within a day or so (the key skill is to Think Spreadsheet)
  • Full within several days  
  • Advanced requires experience with APIs, so will take a week or two.

Documentation Organization

This documentation is organized into major topics based on the components shown above.

1. Install an API Server

You can install and configure API Creator to run locally on your laptop or on your favorite cloud server (e.g. AWS or Azure). The Jetty package comes pre-configured with a couple of sample applications (or you can use the Northwind's sample from the New API wizard) to see a completed API with logic and security. You can request your copy from your CA Technologies sales rep.

2. Get an Overview

The API Creator Welcome page contains an overview, summarized here.

3. Launch API Creator

This browser-based tool is used by API developers to create, integrate, manage, secure, and analyze new API services.  There are a lot of items on the left navigation menu (notice at the bottom there is a Short Menu [x] toggle. This toggle reduces the items to focus on the really important things first).

4. Create an API

You can create an API using a pre-supplied Northwind database (it's part of the CA Live API Creator Tour - that's the easiest way to start), or connect to one of your own databases using the Data Sources section.

5. Explore your REST API

Data Explorer is a self contained service that uses the REST API's for your base tables to create a fully executable and running user interface to the underlying data. REST Lab is a built in feature of the API Creator used to execute (GET/PUT/POST/DELETE) on any of your RESTful endpoints. API Docs is a quick reference guide and a complete Swagger documentation of all your API endpoints.

6. Secure Access to your API's

Authentication (also known as Identity Management) controls who can see and use your APIs.  Access Control is a role-based service that determines what a specific user can see and do with the api. You can secure individual resources and protect both row and column on base table endpoints.

7. Add Reactive Logic

One of the most important features of API Server is the Reactive Logic engine used to enforce business policies and rules.  Like a spreadsheet, rules are invoked (i.e. react) to changes in the data from PUT, POST, and DELETE on base tables. Your database design may require changes to support some of these new features (like sums and counts) or you can use the validations to enforce transaction integrity.  The entire engine supports extensible libraries in Java and JavaScript.

8. Analyze REST Services

The results of every REST call can be seen our browser based log display. We also capture the metrics of the SQL queries and the performance of each rule execution.